L I E) RARY
U N IVER5ITY
^:Z^,^'^*^ ^ /^^^y^ <r
BROWN AS A BERRY.
BROWN AS A BERRY
■That piebald mixture of black and white, called Man."
IN THREE VOLUMES.
TINSLEY BEOTHERS, 8, CATHERmE STREET, STRAND.
[All rights of Irantlation and Eeproduction are reserved.]
SA.VILL, EDWAEDS VNO CO., PRINTEES, CHANDOS STREET,
K THE RIGHT HONOUEABLE THE EARL OP HOME
WITH HIS 'lordship's KIND PEKMISSION,
"H BY HIS MOST OBEDIENT AND FAITHFUL SERVANT,
X THE AUTHOE.
BROWN AS A BERRY.
BOUT eight o^clock on a briglit frosty
morning in December, 185 — _, a boy
called Luke Mark — who was spending his
Christmas holidays at the home of Jack Ferrier,
his friend and schoolmate — was walking through
the shrubbery of Blackbeck House. He is
rather a nice-looking lad, with fair complexion,
blue eyes, and hair of a shade a little darker
than pale flaxen, and is fifteen years of age.
In his hand he carries a catapult, from which
he occasionally projects a stone with considerable
Scratching about among the dead leaves and
withered stalks of last summer^s flowers in the
shrubbery, are some poultry. There is a cock
and five hens. They are of a kind particularly
VOL. I. 1
2 BROWN AS A BERRY.
prized by the owner of Blackbeck House, who
has recently been assigned a gold cup for their
excellence at a show held in the neighbouring
town of Marchton some weeks before.
Without thinking what he is doing, and as
much out of idleness as mischief, Mark picks
up a stone, fixes it in his catapult, and taking
aim, hits one of the five hens on the head,
which drops down dead. Pleased with his
success, and unaware or forgetful that these
are the prize poultry, he takes another stone
and fires it, and after that another, until the
cock and the five hens are all killed.
It is not until he sees the unfortunate poultry
lying prostrate on the ground that the thought-
less and mischievous boy awakens to the full
perception of the consequences of his action. If
the birds had been of a common breed he could
easily have repaired the damage by purchasing
some new fowls with his pocket money, but these
particular ones had been sent to Mr. Terrier from
abroad, and were, he firmly believed, the only
specimens of the sort in England.
" By George ! Vvc done it now \" exclaims
Mark, contemplating the dead poultry with un-
utterable horror, and dropping the catapult as
though it had stung him or burnt his fingers, he
tries to get the cock on its legs, but of course
BROWN AS A BERRY. 3
without success. '^The beggar is as dead as
Then lie reflects that being a visitor at Black-
beck House, it is not probable that Mr. Terrier
will do more than look glum or give a severe
reprimand. He is duly thankful he is not one
of Mr. Ferrier^s own sons, or he knows, in school-
boy phrase, " he would catch it like mad.''
While thus thinking, two boys appear at the
corner of the house with skates slung over their
arms. These are Mr. Ferrier's two sons, William
and Jack. The former is the same age as Luke
Mark ; the other three years younger.
" Come on, Luke,'' shouts Jack. '^ I've been
down to the big pond, and it's bearing all over.
We need not come home until five o'clock, as
we're to dine with the rest to-night. And
mother's given me lots of grub, and a shilling
besides to buy some pale ale."
" No, really ? How stunning !" returns Mark,
and without another thought about the un-
lucky poultry, he scampers off with the rest of
the boys. Something is sure to turn up be-
tween this and the evening. He does just once
wish, but it is merely a passing wish in the
excitement of a stirring game of hockey, that he
had had the sense to dig a hole and bury the
poultry, and then it might have been supposed
1 — 2
4 BROWN AS A BERRY.
they had been stolen. However, it is too late
now for any regrets to be of use.
The three boys have scarcely got out of sight,
when Mr. Terrier, with a cigar in his mouth,
walks through the shrubbery on his way to the
Almost the first thing which meets his eye
is the catapult beside the dead bodies of the
defunct cock and hens. The next minute he has
called all the servants out of the house, and is
questioning them very minutely as to the author
of the deed — on which subject, however, no one
is able to throw any light. Mr. Terrier then
lifts up the catapult, on which is written dis-
tinctly the initials J. F.
''J. F. That stands for Jack Ferrier,'^ he
says. " I think I have discovered who killed my
poor prize poultry, and I shall give him some-
thing to-night which will make him leave off
these practical jokes.''^
The servants go back to the house, congratu-
lating themselves they are not Master Jack.
After this, Mr. Ferrier cuts several tough
branches from an old ash tree at the end of the
shrubbery, and as he swishes them one after the
other through the air, regrets there will not be
time to season them properly ; but, nevertheless,
they will answer the purpose for which he in-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 5
tends them. Then Mr. Ferrier rides over to
Marchton, where he has a business engagement
which occupies him for the remainder of the
Towards evening the boys return, very hungry
and rosy from their long skate. Dinner not
being quite ready _, they employ themselves in
making toffy over a blazing fire in the library.
Charity Ferrier, a pretty graceful girl of fourteen,
already admired in Marchton, is sitting with the
boys. She has a great love of ruling, and
tyrannizes over her mother — a gentle woman,
idolized by her husband and sons.
" How my chilblains rage V exclaims Jack,
rubbing his right hand, on the palm of which a
large chilblain has thought fit to settle. " Hark !
that^s the sound of the carriage taking mother off
to the Towers. She's going to dine there to-
" There's some one coming along the passage,"
says Charity, as a heavy tread is heard outside
Mark gives a start.
Has Mr. Ferrier found out who did it ? He
remembers he never thought of looking whether
any one had been standing at the window.
Until this moment he had completely forgotten
the disagreeable fact. His heart and his courage
6 BROWN AS A BERRY.
seem slipping right into the heels of his shoes^ as
Mr. Ferrier enters the room.
He is a tall, powerfully-built man, with a
stern cast of features which can look very severe
when angry, and just now he is very angry.
But for the light of the fire burning clear and
brilliant in the frost, it is dusk in the library.
The leaping flames throw the figures of the slim
girl and her flaxen curls, and the three expectant
boys, into dark Rembrandt shadows and warm
softened lights, touching the countenances with
the mellow tints produced by holding a candle at
a little distance in a darkened room.
There has been a splendid sunset over the
broad expanse of the flat Lincolnshire fens, the
creeks, and morasses, and quicksands of its dan-
gerous coast, and the sun itself has sunk behind
the wolds, leaving some ragged crimson clouds
floating over the burnished orange-gold sky,
against which stand out some tall, straight,
weird poplar-trees, and the steeple of Marchton
" Do any of you boys here know who killed
my prize poultry ?^^ begins Mr. Ferrier.
" No, sir,'^ return the three boys at once —
two of them with perfect truth ; the other a
little hesitatingly. But after all Luke argues,
did he do it ? What fools the birds were to get
BROWN AS A BERRY. 7
in his way ; and to be sure^ it was the stone
which finished the poultry^ not he.
'^ I asked you/' proceeds Mr. Ferrier^ ^^ to
give Jack a chance of acknowledging the wanton
mischief he has done. I shall not take the
trouble of contradicting you. Stand forward,
Jack. Do you recognise this catapult V
^^Yes, it-'s mine/^ replies Jack.
" Where do you think I found it ? Lying
beside the dead poultry."'
" I did not kill them, father/'' protests the
boy ; " I know nothing about it."
" Was it you, William ?"
" No, sir."
" Was it vou, Luke Mark ?"
" No, sir."
Luke detests himself for the lie. But he sees
those ground- ashes in Mr. Terrier's hand, and
he has felt them on his back before now, and did
not like the application. Now that he has denied
it, the confession would be all the more difficult.
" Have any of you had Jack's catapult ?" goes
on Mr. Terrier. " Some of you may have taken
it by mistake."
But William steadfastly denies having done so,
and Mark corroborates him.
" Then, my man, you had better confess at
once," says Mr. Terrier. " I shall give you a
8 BROWN AS A BERRY.
thrashing as you deserve^ but it wont be so bad
as if you stick to your lie/^
'' I didn^t do it/^ is all Jack answers.
Mark feels what a coward he is as the ash
falls with a swinging whizz on Jack^s back^ yet
fond as he is of his chum and school friend, he
cannot compel his courage to return sufficiently
to save the boy from the punishment which is
justly his own.
When three ground-ashes are broken to bits,
and some rents are visible on Jack^s jacket, Mr.
Terrier pauses to take a fresh one. Jack has
hitherto been silent.
" Will you confess now T' he asks.
" No, I wont/^ he replies. ^' V\e nothing to
Mr. Ferrier is thoroughly enraged at what
he considers JacFs stubbornness and obstinacy.
Brought up himself on the principle of " Spare
the rod, spoil the child,^^ he has no notion of
letting Jack off one inch of what he thinks
proper correction. He has no idea of con-
doning an offence. If a man or boy has sinned
or offended, he deserves punishment. He be-
lieves that the old-fashioned system produces
finer and more honourable men than the pre-
sent style — men, in fact, capable of heroism
and of uncomplaining endurance.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 9
^' Hold out your hand, Jack/^ he commands.
Jack extends the left, hoping his father will
not ask for the right.
''^Not that one/'' cries Mr. Terrier, exas-
perated beyond measure at his son, and snatch-
ing the boy^s right hand, he proceeds to rain
blow after blow upon the palm on which is
the chilblain before mentioned. Jack sets his
teeth hard ; but do what he will he cannot
prevent a low cry of intense pain escaping his
lips ; for every blow of the ash causes exquisite
torture in the inflamed flesh, and each stroke
Mark cannot stand it any longer, and catches
hold of the ground-ash, crying out —
•^ Oh, Mr. Terrier^ please don't ; he did not
Jack looks gratefully at his champion, but
holds his tongue.
" It's very good of you, Mark,'''' says Mr^
Ferrier ; ^' but if Jack did not do it, who did 1'^
Much as Mark loves Jack, he is unable to
avow the truth. No one could hate his
cowardice more than he does himself, still he
cannot bring himself to speak out.
"Will you confess now?''' again says Mr.
Jack only shakes his head. He has nearly
10 BROWN AS A BERRY.
bitten his nether lip through, in the effort to
restrain his cries.
" Well, youVe about had enough for to-day/'
observes Mr. Terrier. '^ It^ll take you a little
while to get over this; perhaps by that time
you'll have come to your senses. I'm deter-
mined to break you of these mischievous tricks.
I wish you would take pattern of your friend
Mark ; he is all that a gentleman should be,
quiet, polite, and still not a muff."
Calliog Charity to come to dinner with Wil-
liam and Mark, he leaves Jack alone, after
telling him he is to have neither dinner nor
supper that day.
Jack has, indeed, ^' about had enough." He
sits down on the rug and wraps his bleeding
hand in his pocket-handkerchief, feeling very
dizzy and " queer /' then, overpowered by the
heat of the fire, the pain in his back, and the
agony of his wounded member, he faints off
quietly on to the floor.
" Coom, coom, Measter Ja-ack," says a voice,
when all have gone in to dinner, which, had
Jack been conscious, he would have recognised
as that of the fat cook. His misfortunes have
spread to the kitchen, and the worthy head
of the culinary regions, with whom, in spite
of many tricks, he has always been first favourite,
BROWN AS A BERRY. 11
has brought him some food. " Doan't ee be
stiint, Measter Ja-ack. Coom, coom now/'' as
if addressing a refractory horse. " Hoowiver,
Tve fetched ee some maazin^ foin fried taates,
and if ee dosen^t eat ''em 1^11 eat nn mysen."
Then fancying she hears Mr. Terrier leaving
the dining-room, she shuffles off to her own
domain. No one comes to Jack. Mr. Terrier
insists that Charity and the boys - shall remain
in the drawing-room_, and as he is completely
master in his own house, his will is implicitly
observed. Mark is excessively uncomfortable at
the notice paid him by Mr. Terrier. He
begged to be allowed to take Jack some din-
ner j but was peremptorily refused. The praise
lavished on him of generosity, hurts him almost
as much as the ground-ashes did Jack^s back.
What evil spirit induced him to shy stones at the
poultry ? He has relinquished any feeble in-
tention he might have had of telling now.
Jack will soon be all right again, and he will
endeavour to compensate hira in some way for
the severe thrashing he has had.
The moon has risen high in the sky,
and the stars are shining over the wolds,
a dark undulating ridge against the horizon,
and the shadows of the leafless trees are cast
black on the dry, hard ground, when some
12 BROWN AS A BERRY.
one witli a lamp in her hand enters the
Jack has come to himself sometime ago,, but
was too stiff and cold to care to move. So he
lay still where he was. He opens his eyes
to see a woman in white satin, with diamonds
gleaming in the smooth folds of her dark,
braided hair, bending over him. For the
moment, he imagines he beholds some beautiful
creation of dreamland— not a real woman in
flesh and blood. And years afterwards, when
in the wilds of California and the gay city of
San Francisco, in the depths of an American
pine forest, and up the banks of the Yang-t^se-
Kiang, he remembers how fair his mother looked
in the radiance of the moonlight. They are
very like each other— ^this mother and son —
only Jack is the plain edition of a charming
woman. Both have black hair and steel-grey
eyes, with black lashes and black brows ;
but Mrs. Ferrier's mouth and nose are well
formed, while Jack^s are nothing out of the
" My dear boy," she says, placing her arms
tenderly round him, '' you have been in trouble,
I hear. Why did not you admit you had done
it, if you had V
'^ I wasn^t going to say Fd done it when I
BROWN AS A BERRY. 13
hadn^t. I wouldn^t to escape a worse thrashing
than I had to-night/^ replies the boy, sturdily
and somewhat sulkily.
'^ You did not do it then, Jack?'^
'' No, mother, I didn't/'
Mrs. Terrier stoops down and kisses her
youngest child, the apple of her eye, her daily
" Father does rile a fellow so ; he never be-
lieves one, even upon one's oath. And then he
keeps saying he must ^ break' one in. I'd die
sooner than be broken in."
" Jack, Jack ! he says you were sulky,
but I think he was mistaken. You know he
valued the poultry greatly, and it is very annoy-
ing that they should have been killed. It was
natural he was angry. But, my dear boy, what
is the matter with your jacket ? Have you
torn it ?"
'' No," says Jack, " it's the ground-ashes
that did it. But it's an old jacket j so it's no
" You must be terribly hurt," she exclaims,
turning the lamp so as to throw light on his
back. ^^Why, your jacket and shirt are slit to
bits ! Surely your father " she stops, for to
preserve peace and harmony between father and
son is the object of her life^ and young as he is^
14 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Jack has a keen sense of justice. He believes his
father has a pleasure in singling him out as an
offender on all occasions. Mrs. Ferrier is anxious
to remove this unfortunate feeling, but this
event will not tend to improve their relations.
" My back will be all serene in a couple of
weeks. I daresay it is black and blue. It^s
my hand that hurts most/^ pulling it out from
his trousers^-pocket. The handkerchief had dried
into the wound, and an attempt to drag it off
produced a flow of blood. " Take care of your
pretty gown, mother. It^ll make no end of a
mess of it/^ he cries, anxiously.
" Oh, never mind the gown,^' she says, " you
had better go to bed now, and I'll try and
doctor up this poor hand.^'
Mark is sleeping in Jack's room ; but his
qualms of conscience keep him still awake. He
is a warm-hearted boy^ sincerely attached to
Jack, and considerably spoilt by the uncle and
aunt who, in the absence of either father or
mother, have brought him up. He shams being
asleep, however, while Mrs. Ferrier, after pinning
her white satin gown out of her way, bathes
Jack's hand with warm water, and is thus
enabled to remove the dried stiffened handker-
chief. He hears Mrs. Ferrier wonder why Jack
did not say he had not been in the shrubbery
BROWN AS A BERRY. 15
that morning, as William could have proved he
Tvas with him at the pond ; and listens to Jack^s
reply, it would have been useless, Mr. Ferrier
having determined beforehand he was guilty.
" Are you warmer now V asks Mrs. Ferrier.
" Yes, this jolly hot stuff has warmed me to
the ends of my feet. Give Luke there a wine-
glass of it. He tried to beg me off, you
Luke is compelled to sit up and partake of
the negus, and it is doubtful if any coals of fire
ever felt hotter, or if any act of Jack^s could
have gone further towards knitting together and
cementing firmer his respect and friendship for
" You are very kind, Mrs. Ferrier," he stam-
" I am fond of boys, especially of school
boys," smiles the pretty woman, who shines as
much at home as in society. She does not wish
to " mollycoddle" her sons, and trusts they
will grow up brave, fearless, truth-speaking men,
but she resolves Jack shall never again be so
severely punished as he has been this evening.
Such a little lad, too, she thinks, as she looks at
the dark head reposing on the white pillow. How
could Mr. Ferrier have done it ? It was a pity
he should be so fatally convinced that Jack of
16 BROWN AS A BERRSr.
necessity must always do wrong, and never
" Mother, you^re a trump ^ says Jack sud-
denly, pulling her face down to him by the un-
injured hand, and giving her a hearty kiss.
Then Mrs. Terrier whispers something.
" I weant, I weant," he answers, in broad
Lincolnshire, ^' Fll niver forgive ^un.''^
^' Yes, you will, dear.-*^
" Well,"" very reluctantly, " for you I will.^''
Mark lies awake for some time after Mrs.
Terrier has gone. What a nasty little sneak I
have been, he reflects. But if it were to come
over again, he knows he would just do the same.
Now that the room is dark and the whole house
hushed and quiet, he thinks he might unburden
his conscience. Now or never.
" Jack,^^ he calls, '^ Jack — I say, Jack.''^ But
the only answer is a prolonged and prosaic
snore. So, having done his duty, and relieved
his mind by attempting to tell, he turns over on
his side and goes to sleep.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 17
It is six years since Mr. Ferrier was enraged by
the mysterious death of his prize poultry. This
still remains unexplained, and probably will con-
tinue to do so. However, it has long ago been
The family party, consisting of Mr. and
Mrs. Ferrier, Charity, William, and Jack, are
in the library, where Jack had been thrashed
that winter evening for what he had never
Now it is summer time.
Mr. Ferrier is speaking.
'^You may do as you like. Jack, but you are
a fool if you refuse. It is eight hundred a year,
even if you clap in a curate and pay him a
hundred. You need only preach one sermon
in the year. That^s what old Burnley did.
Preached one sermon in the twelve months,
drove to church in his carriage, brought his own
port with him — easy as A B C.^^
"I don't think I'm fitted for the Church,^'
replies Jack, quietly. He is a tall well-made
youth, rather in the hobbledehoy stage as yet,
VOL. I. 2
18 BROWN AS A BERRY.
but giving promise of beings thougb not hand-
some, a manly-looking fellow. " Besides, I should
not like to put in a curate to do all the hard
•work and give him only a hundred a year, while
I did nothing and was paid eight hundred. It
doesn*t seem fair.^^
" You are very silly, Jack,^' says Charity.
She has grown into an elegant woman, and is
now engaged to a Lieutenant Napier, who has
excellent prospects from a wealthy great-uncle,
who has already reached the age of threescore
years and ten.
" What would you advise me to do, mother T^
'' What you think right and honourable,''^ re-
joins Mrs. Terrier. " I should like much the
best to have you settled near us; but if it is
against your inclinations, I had rather you did
'^ You^ll never have such an opportunity
again,''-' pursues Mr. Terrier. "And think of
the position you would have. A clergyman can
move in the best society, and ''
'* You might be a bishop, and be called my
lord," suggests Charity.
" As well say an archbishop at once," laughs
Jack. " Oh yes ; and l^d have you all over to
stay with me three months in the year at the
BROWN AS A BERRY. 19
Archiepiscopal Palace. ' How does that sound
for high/ as a Yankee chap I met the other day
" Your figure is just suited for the style of
dress^ knee-breeches and all that/^ says William.
" I am not cut out for a parson/-* returns
Jack. " Why, when I stood up in the pulpit to
preach and saw the congregation sitting before
me, I should be in such a blue funk, I^d want to
hook out into the vestry. I shouldn^t be a bit
happier for being called my lord. In fact, it
would make me very uncomfortable. It requires
a special vocation to become a clergyman, and I
haven^t got any vocation. You would be having
serious complaints that the Rev. J. Terrier at-
tended coursing matches and steeple-chases;
that he hunted in pink in Lent — I shouldn't
be able to help it, if Td a good horse, and
there happened to be a meet with the scent
lying well — or that he drove tandem to
" Vocation be hanged \" breaks in Mr. Terrier.
" You don't want a vocation. Any one can be a
clergyman. YouVe only to get up a certain
tone in reading ; and as to preaching the
sermons, you can buy a lot ready to hand, and
you can copy them out on Saturday night in
20 BROWN AS A BERRY.
^^ I am very mucli obliged to Mr. Tresham
for the offer, but I must decline it/-* says
" Then you are a born fool, and I shall
wash my hands of you altogether/^ replies Mr.
Ferrier, angrily. ^' Now, Alice, don^t back hira
up in his folly. ^'
" It isnH that I wont : it^s because I can't,
mother/^ responds Jack, looking appealingly at
"Well, Jack, if you wont accept it, 1^11 tell
you what I shall do. I shall pay your outfit to
Shanghai, and your journey money, and give
you three hundred pounds to keep yourself until
you find something to do. I daresay Luke
Mark will give you some help. You understand
that is your portion. I canH afford a penny
more, so it will be useless your attempting to
ask me. If it is not enough, you must go
" Oh, John ; it's such a distance across the
sea to China,'' pleads Mrs. Ferrier.
" Now, Jack," says her husband, in a more
conciliatory tone, '^ if you go away, you'll break
your mother's heart, and it will be the fault of
your obduracy. Somehow or another she is
awfully attached to you, young scamp as you are.
Don't you see it would be better for yourself
BROWN AS A BERRY, 21
and for all of us if you would agree to be a
clergyman and settle at Marshley close beside
us ? You could do all those things you spoke of
in moderation. Muscular Christianity is the
order of the day/'
" If mother really wants me, and thinks I
ought, ril try to enter the Church; but I
know I was never made for a parson. One
ought to have better motives than a good settle-
ment in life, good society, and good position —
and honestly those would be mine/''
" Then I think Jack had better not force
himself,^' replies Mrs. Ferrier. '' If any good is
to come of it, I thoroughly agree with him, the
motives ought to be of the very highest and
purest character, as it is the noblest profession
« Very well," answers Mr. Ferrier. '^ Then
it's the three hundred pounds and China. You
always spoilt that boy, Alice.''
" Dear Jack 1 I don't know how I shall ever
part with him."
^'^ He ought to have gone into the Church, and
there would have been no parting for you.
Fancy a fat living of 900/. a year, and hardly
any work to do, going a begging !"
22 BROWN AS A BERRY.
It is a magnificent moonlight night in the Island
The air is alive with fireflies,, and the long
rolling waves shine with phosphoric light. The
Datura trees wave their blooming masses as a
night breeze passes by, and one or two perfumed
spikes fall sleepily from among them to the
ground. Far over the moonlit waters the silver
radiance glimmers, showing a sail and the red
gleam of a lamp at the head of a steamer an-
chored at a bend in the bay, some little distance
from the shore.
Moored high and dry on the beach is a boat,
and two sailors in the dress of " Greenes Mer-
chant Service '' are waiting near it.
Through the tropical splendour of the glorious
southern night come a man and a woman, both
in the prime of life and beauty. She rides a
milk-white ox, which crushes the sweet-scented
waxen cinnamon flowers beneath its heavy feet.
They go under arches of scarlet and purple
passion flowers, among which the fireflies flit in
BROWN AS A BERRY. 23
and out ; their dancing lights flickering hither
and thither like tiny globules of flame over the
Leads of the man and woman, as they journey
downwards to the sea shore.
The man leans his hand caressingly on the
arm of the woman, when they are within a
few paces of the boat and the sailors, and looks
up into her face.
'^ My Lilith V he says, with profound tender-
ness in his deep tones, " mon idole ! mon
*^^Will you be faithful after what I have
abandoned for you ?" she asks. " I have for-
saken all to follow you.''
OOD mornings Mum ; I hope you haf
brouglit your umbrella with you. The
weather here has been very wet and stormy. All
the pupils have cried one after the oder. It is one
great consolation to see you, for you never cry,
Thyrza. You are as dry as von leetle sponge.''^
Sitting down at the piano, Thyrza E-utherfurd
strikes the first notes of the Sonata pathetique.
Mr. Spindler rises from his chair and paces
round the room,, his hands behind his back,
and beats time with a long ruler. He is an
elderly man, very fat and stumpy, with strongly
marked aquiline features, snow white hair, and
an irrepressible propensity for taking unlimited
quantities of snuff. " Ach, mein Gott ! A wrong
note there,^^ he cries, in a tone of unspeakable
anguish. " Fit T tell you, Mum, slower, slower ;
you play as if your fingers were running away
with you. F^ I say, Mum/^
BROWN AS A BERRY. 25
^^ There is no r|f printed where I am playing,
the girl ventures to remonstrate.
" Not dere, of course. I mean two bars
previous/^ he responds, having looked all over
the page to find a place where Fit is marked.
" That fingering will never do ! Begin again
from the top of the page.^^
Accordingly, Thyrza recommences and pro-
ceeds smoothly enough for some time ; when
Mr. Spindler, suddenly resuming his seat,
abruptly jerks her hands from the key-board,
exclaiming in a voice of thunder, '^ What are
you doing, Mum ?"
Taken by surprise, and almost electrified by
his unexpected attack, she springs up from the
music stool, almost overturning it in her rapid
movements, and cries out —
" Oh, Monsieur Spindler V
" Well, well ! I intended not to terrify thee,"
says he, consolingly, taking possession of her
vacated seat, and running his fingers lightly
over the notes. " What wild frightened eyes
thou hast ! But that enfant terrible who pre-
cede thee, it is one mistake that she learn
music ! She make me mad, crazy, distracted.
I no able to sit still when she play ! I spik"*
English like my own tongue, is it not so ? but
she no understand, and when I tell her she is
26 BROWN AS A BERRY.
all out of time she do nothing but cry_, cry, cry,
' oh !' '* shaking his head and groaning deeply,
^at is awful !''
As Mr. Spindler relates his troubles, the
twanging of a guitar is heard outside the open
window through which the old man sees the
sunburnt face of a ragged Italian boy. He
is dancing on the pavement to solicit alms for
himself and his guinea-pig, which small animal
he holds tucked tightly under his arm while
he turns and twists and leaps with a grace
and litheness in his supple slender limbs that
is nature^s own gift.
A tattered hat adorned with some peacock^s
feathers is placed on the back of his jet black
locks, beneath which shine a pair of melting
brown eyes. An orange-coloured cravat, fastened
under his chin, conceals sundry deficiencies in
the froDt of his not over-clean shirt, and the
guitar is slung over his shoulder by a bit of
The street is narrow, and as eaich story rises
higher it approaches in proximity to its neigh-
bours, so closely that at last the houses almost
meet in friendly touch, and only a small piece of
sky above is visible to the foot passengers below.
Opposite the pension in which Thyrza is having
her music lesson is the old hotel of the Flying
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 27
Dragon^ whither travellers en route for the
Rhine country occasionally resort. The gor-
geous sign of the Flying Dragon, painted
with bright scarlet on a golden ground, which
hangs suspended over the grey weather-beaten
arched entrance to the courtyard beyond, is the
only morsel of colour or light in the sombre
The diligence, running for the convenience of
the public between Villios and Trois d^Or, a
little village ten miles distant, has just arrived.
The tired dusty horses draw up, and from the in-
side of the vehicle descend several jaded English
tourists, two Sisters of Charity with sweet gentle
faces, one gentleman in a light grey overcoat
and a tall handsome woman attired in the
barbaric contrast of a grass green satin gown
with a ruby bonnet. She has on a thick black
veil, and turns her steps at once in the direction
of the pension, formerly a convent dedicated to
S. Sebastian the Martyr, but now consecrated
to the education of young ladies under the
fostering care of Miss Holt, a spinster of an un-
decided age, though of a very decided temper.
The Italian picks up some sous thrown to
him by the gentleman, and begins again his
impromptu tarentelle before the window of the
room where Thyrza and Mr. Spindler are sitting,
28 BROWN AS A BERRY.
this time accompanying his music and dance
with a song, in a clear, childish treble voice.
•He dances as much for the mere pleasure of
being alive this fine spring morning, and for the
delight in the quick motion, as for the sake of
the hlthy lucre he may gain.
The Sonata pathetique andante movement is
out of the question.
" I go crazy V^ exclaims Mr. Spindler; " it is
but this moment there was ein horrible brass
band to whom I give a franc not to play. Then
there was a man selling flowers, and a woman
with vegetables ; and now this imp has come. It
is too moch. Will you go away, sar?^"*
The Italian laughs, but only redoubles his
exertions, singing louder and dancing faster — a
picture, in his rags and dirt, for a painter. Mr.
Spindler does not take this view of the case
'^ Andate al diavolo V^ he shouts, at the top
of his voice, to the astonished boy, opening the
window wider; and doubling his fists, he shakes
them menacingly, throwing as much ferocious-
ness into his mild blue eyes as he can impart
Terrified at the irate countenance glaring forth
upon him, the child drops his little guinea-pig,
which scuttles across the street under the body
BROWN AS A BERRY. 29
of the diligence, appearing among the hoofs of
" Oh ! my only friend V the boy exclaims, in
French,, rushing after his pet. Heedless of his
own safety, he crawls beneath the fresh horses
the ostler is attaching to the worn-ont rope
harness for the return journey to Trois d^Or,
and succeeds in catching the guinea-pig ; but as
he rises, his foot trips on the loosely-hanging
string of his guitar, and he falls, striking his
head against a projecting stone of the uneven
pavement. There he lies motionless. The guinea-
pig, with more affection than is generally sup-
posed to be possessed by their species, walks up
his breast, looking into his face as if to inquire
what is the matter with his master.
Mr. Spindler, on witnessing the accident, is
instantly smitten with remorse, considering him-
self the original cause of the misfortune.
'' Vat haf I done?" he laments ; '^ mein Gott !
the leetle knabe is dead, and I haf killed him !
Thyrza, run quickly — get through the window —
you jomp easily down ; it is but von leetle
distance. Go, and I will come out by the front
door. Go," seeing Thyrza hesitate, " Miss Holt
will not know — she is at the other side of the
house — and if she does, I will settle everything.
30 BROWN AS A BERRY.
In obedience to his orders, Thyrza lets lierself
drop down into tlie street by the window, which
is only about two feet from the ground, and
hastens to the assistance of the boy.
The gentleman in the light overcoat, who
arrived in the diligence, has hitherto been occu-
pied in counting over his luggage, but he aban-
dons this employment on noticing the mishap to
the small Italian, and by the time Thyrza reaches
the hotel of the Flying Dragon, has lifted the
child from the ground and is sitting on the
pavement, holding him in his arms. The guinea-
pig has taken refuge in the pocket of the boy^s
threadbare, tattered jacket, and peers curiously
out with its round, black eyes.
" I think I will carry him into the hotel,"
says the gentleman, speaking apparently more
for his own benefit than for that of any one in
particular. Then he addresses Thyrza directly.
" Perhaps you will have the kindness to help
me in rising. The boy is not a light weight.^"*
Thyrza extends her hand. He seizes it with
no very gentle grasp, and, regaining his feet,
enters the doorway of the Flying Dragon.
Thyrza follows at a modest distance behind him
to see what the end will be. In her way she
nearly stumbles headlong over a pile of luggage,
addressed to J. Ferrier^ Esq. A porter is
BROWN AS A BERRY. 31
arranging the boxes in a curiously artistic man-
ner, placing the small parcels first and the large
ones on the top of them, the result of which she
inwardly prophesies will be an immediate down-
Just opposite an open door reveals a large
fire blazing in a capacious grate, a clean sanded
floor, several rows of shining brass, copper,
and pewter pots, pans and dish-covers ; cup-
boards filled with china and crockeryware orna-
ment the darkened walls, while a pleasant smell,
as of savoury meat cooking, issues into the
Mr. Terrier halts here a moment, then turns
in at a door on the lefthand side of the
kitchen. This room is misty with smoke, and
reeking with the fumes of tobacco. It is the
billiard-room of the hotel, where travellers, if
they wish, may also be provided with coifee and
the petite presse of the day.
Originally the Flying Dragon was a noble-
man^s house, and it still retains traces of its
former aristocratic owner in the ornaments
of carved wood which decorate the mantel-pieces
of most of the apartments. The billiard-room
is panelled with black oak^ one large thick beam,
ornamented with rich carvings of pomegranates
and hop leaves, crosses transversely the low
32 BROWN AS A BERRY.
ceiling, let in witli paintings on wood of various
historic scenes, executed with rather more than
ordinary skill by some Flemish painter long since
dead and gone. The fireplace is wide, and inlaid
with encaustic tiles. Properly speaking there is
no grate ; an iron brazier, rusty with age and
damp, in winter holds a handful of fire, but for
the nonce the brazier contains a delf jug filled
with spring flowers, whose scent is completely
lost in the fumes of tobacco.
In this quaint room, in which one would
rather fancy the gay costumes of two hundred
years ago than the modern, tame, stifi" apparel,
are placed a couple of exceedingly worn out
horse-hair sofas, a looking glass with a tarnished
gilt frame swathed in yellow gauze ; and several
chairs, evidently of the same date and origin
as the sofas, are ranged in various corners.
" Poor little lad V' says Mr. Ferrier, laying
the boy down with gentle hands on one of the
sofas. " Hallo ! Adolphe, Alphonse, Jean,^-* he
calls without in the passage, pausing a moment
to apostrophize the porter to have a care of his
luggage ; " these are common French Christian
names, are they not ? How deaf these people
are ! Well, Providence, they say, helps those
who help themselves. Can you give me some
assistance. Mademoiselle ?''
BROWN AS A BERRY. 33
Emptying some water from a carafFe standing
on the table into a tumbler,, he asks Thyrza to
hold the glass for him. But when she ap-
proaches the sofa she turns sick and faint ; the
child^s face is covered with blood, that has
trickled down from the wound in his forehead
staining the smart orange scarf, while his eyes
are widely distended, without any expression or
emotion in the staring balls.
" Je ne puis pas, Monsieur/^ she stammers,
with an involuntary retrograde movement, and
nearly letting the tumbler slip from her trembling
" Just like a woman V^ exclaims Mr. Terrier,
in very Anglicized French. "Are you going to
faint too, and make a scene ? Stand back.
Mademoiselle, and let the patient have as much
air as can be obtained in this stuffy little
A laugh greets this speech, which is more
intelligible from the manner of delivery than
from the correctness of the grammar, and look-
ing round, Thyrza discovers that the room is by
no means so destitute of tenants as it was at
first, but on the contrary, is pretty well filled
with commis-voyageurs, strolling artists, and
one or two actors who belong to a provincial
company. They have entered by another door
VOL. I. 3
34 BROWN AS A BERRY.
from the salle-a-manger. Most of them are
sallow bearded Frenchmen, and they are gesti-
culating and vociferating noisily, after the fashion
of their country when anything uncommon
" Take a chair and sit down in comfort — do
not stand there looking ready to drop. I
thought at least I was sure of some help in
trouble from a woman, even though she may be
good for nothing else.''''
^^ I am not going to faint, Monsieur,^^ she
answers, indignantly, in a sweet low voice,
which draws the attention of the odd dozen
Frenchmen upon her. Perceiving their eyes
fixed in her direction, she flushes scarlet, and
wishes profoundly that Mr. Spindler would
make haste and deliver her from her embar-
rassing position among a number of men whom
she had never seen before.
"If you are not going to faint, take the
handkerchief and sponge like this," showing her
how to manipulate the linen, "while I see if
that bell over there will ring. He ought to have
a medical man at once."
Thyrza tries to obey, but her nerve fails her
on touching the death-like face over which a
crimson streak is flowing, and she grasps hold of
the back of the chair for support. She is very
BROWN AS A BERRY. 35
angry witli her own stupidity — still she cannot
help it. If she had been cast in an heroic
mould, she would have been mistress of the
position in a moment — have bound up the wound
without the slightest previous knowledge being
necessary, and by her elegance and ease of
manner have charmed all the men, including Mr.
Ferrier, at once. That is what she ought to
have done. Instead of this, she feels supremely
gauche, awkward, and out of place. With the
instinct common to every woman who wishes to
appear to the greatest advantage and is painfully
conscious of being untidy, she puts her hand up
to her head, and looks at herself in the mirror.
The result is not flattering to her vanity. By
its kindly aid she sees that her hair hangs about
her shoulders and waist in rough masses, her
collar is crumpled and awry. The fact, also,
that she has neither hat nor jacket is palpable,
and her brown, ink-stained fingers would be
much improved by the addition of a pair of
gloves. Mr. Terrier observes her glance at
herself in the mirror. If the reflection in the
glass be correct, her complexion is of a greenish-
yellow hue, suggestive of recent recovery from
jaundice, while one side of her face is swollen
considerably larger than the other.
"Not a pretty girl,'' thinks Mr. Ferrier,
36 BROWN AS A BERRY.
nearly laughing ontriglit at the mortified expres-
sion of Thyrza's countenance;, " and certainly'^
(taking into consideration her common dress,
made without any attempt at trimming and very
little at a fit, being the joint result of the united
labours of JNIiss Holt and herself) " one of the
untidiest I ever saw/''
But the old yellow gown, baggy and ill-made
though it be, cannot wholly conceal the graceful
proportions of a slender waist and a figure just
rounding into womanhood, while the white collar
closes over the soft curves of a smooth brown
throat on which the small head is exquisitely
set, and the short dress shows dainty little
" Was there ever anything so utterly foolish,
so vain, so frivolous, so useless in every sense
of the word as a young, silly girl V he
" I am not useless, Monsieur,'^ protests Thyrza,
with an indignant flash of her hazel eyes.
"The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Pray what can you do V
" I can make omelettes, and darn stockings,
and teach English, and^^ — emphatically but
vaguely — '' oh, heaps of things '/"'
" Oh, indeed ! But I do not want you to
exercise your skill in these matters at present,^-*
BROWN AS A BERRY. 37
he answers J bluntly ; " what did you come here
" Mr. Spindler sent me to help about the
little boy/' answers she, twisting her slim_, ink-
stained fingers together, and forgetting Mr.
Terrier knows nothing of Mr. Spindler.
" An immense deal you have helped, have you
not ? Well, since you can do nothing else, try
and ring the bell.''
" I— I shan't," she returns. '' Will you ?"
she asks of one of the Frenchmen who is stand-
ing near her. There is a general rush to the
bell in compliance with her wishes, and the man
who is successful in reaching it first pulls so
vigorously that the bell does not stop ringing
for more than five minutes when set in motion,
and the rope — rotten, no doubt, from age — snaps
The landlady, thus imperatively summoned,
quits her cooking operations in the kitchen, and
arrives in the billiard-room very red in the face,
and bringing with her an overpowering odour of
garlic ; the landlord, the ostler, and several
females present themselves in the doorway, utter-
ing shrill or bass exclamations, according to their
sex, of '^Mon Dieu !" '^ Oh, ciel !" "Dame!"
and " Sacre !" with a liberal allowance of re's to
38 BROWN AS A BEJIRY.
'^ Where is de leetle knabe ? I hope I haf
not killed him !" anxiously inquires Mr. Spindler^
waddling into the room.
" Oh, he will come round — have no fear of
that/^ replies Mr. Ferrier, translating literally
the English into French. " I have sent one of
these duffers for a doctor, and we shall have him
right in a trice.^^
" I no comprehend/^ says Mr. Spindler. On
which Thyrza renders the above into French.
Duffer isj however, untranslatable. Thyrza, not
being versed in English slang, pauses at the
^^ Say bete, or stupid,^' rejoins Mr. Ferrier ;
'' either word will do.^^
Mr. Spindler takes a mighty pinch of snuff,
and a ray of hope illumines his doleful visage.
" You no think anything will happen to me,
sare?''-' he asks, in his broken English^ having
detected the British element in the good Sama-
ritan ; ^'^ I nevare toch him. I only say *^Andate
al diavolo P and he run and fall on de oder side
of the street.-'^
" Your mind may be quite easy on that
subject,^^ answers Mr. Ferrier, " especially in a
country where the jury always bring in ' ex-
tenuating circumstances.'' They are a tender-
hearted set of people here. They vivisect poor
BROWN AS A BERRY. 39
innocent animals in the name and interests of
science, and let a fellow off with next to nothing
who has perhaps chopped his father and mother
into little bits V
With the kindly presence of Mr. Spindler
Thyrza^s courage revives. She ventures to un-
fasten the boy^s cravat, and moisten his dry lips
with water. Mr. Ferrier asks for some brandy,
and pours a small quantity down the child^s
throat. He has bound up the ghastly wound,
but the blood still continues to ooze through the
" That is better,^' says Mr. Ferrier to Thyrza.
" 1 wish I had had a needle and thread to draw
it together with. It would soon heal, and
scarcely leave a scar."
At this point the doctor is ushered into the
billiard-room. He proceeds to examine the
amount of injury the child has sustained, pro-
nounces the bandages to be cleverly arranged,
and decides the wound must be stitched up.
Then he produces a case of glittering steel instru-
ments, the sight of which causes Thyrza to shiver
and shut her eyes, and in a few moments the
operation is over. Shortly afterwards, the boy
gives a deep sigh, and tries to sit up. He
fumbles about with his fingers as if groping for
something, and is evidently searching for the
40 BROWN AS A BERET.
guinea-pig. Thyrza lifts it out of his pocket,
and places it in Ms hands. A smile of intelli-
gence lights up the thin countenance. He feels
his pet, and strokes it carefully. It is not hurt
in any way.
" Lie still, little man. You will be able to
get up to-morrowj but you must rest for the
present. Will you tell him. Mademoiselle ? He
cannot make out my French. ^^
^' He is alive — he no die V exclaims Mr.
Spindler, joyfully. " I dance for happiness V'
So saying, on the spur of the moment he
executes several pirouettes of delight at the relief
to his feelings, which Mr. Ferrier regards much
as Michal regarded the triumphal dancing of
David before the ark.
" I pay this gentleman for his attendance on
the knahe/' continues Mr. Spindler, pulling out
his purse, and addressing himself to the doctor.
'^'^Not at all — allow me,"^' interi-upted Mr.
Ferrier ; " it was purely an accident. You had
nothing to do with it.-*^
" I will look in to-morrow and inquire how
he is,^^ persists Mr. Spindler.
"By all means, and I daresay you can
contrive to get him apprenticed to some decen,t
employment to save him from going about the
country begging his bread. There is nothing
BROWN AS A BERRY. 41
further for you to do/'' adds Mr. Ferrier, coolly ;
*^ so, I wish you bon jour. Thank you^ Made-
moiselle, for your valuable services/^ with a
mischievous look in his steel-grey eyes. " Shall
you return by the window in the same way as
you came ?"
Thyrza would willingly part with her most
precious possession in exchange for a witty and
crushing reply wherewith to extinguish Ferrierj
but having no answer ready, she merely answers,
As she and Mr. Spindler go back to the pension,
the lady of the green gown passes by them into
the hotel, and asks if the landlady can supply
her with apartments.
B*^HEKE has just been a shower of rain ;
IHiM the clouds have cleared away ; the sun
shines brightly again; the air is sweet and
balmy ; grey and golden-brown-dressed sparrows
chirp gaily as they fly under the eaves of the
pension, with long ends of straw dangling from
their bills; the blackbirds sing in the apple boughs,
while they think of the surreptitious feasts they
will have in the summer on the juicy cherries
and ripe strawberries ; and the " silver spears^"* of
rain-drops still fall pattering through the thick
leaves. From where Thyrza is sitting, perched
on a twisted branch of an old apple-tree that
bears nothing in the autumn save a few sour
dwarf green apples, she can see little beyond a
sea of soft rose-tinted blossoms. Right across,
divided by the river, half a dozen paces from
her, stretch acres upon acres of pink-and -white
orchards, only varied by the fresh green foliage
BROWN AS A BERRY. 43
that is rejoicing in its escape from its Tvinter
shroud. To the left lies the town of Villios,
grey and hoary, with red-tiled roofs to most of
the houses, some of which having lately been
repaired, turn into bright scarlet in the rays of
the evening sun. Some distance nearer is the
narrow Norman bridge, beneath which the river
flows tranquilly to the sea, bearing on its breast
the faded petals of " angeF^ blue forget-me-nots,
and the swans, like those on " still St. Mary^s
lake, float double — swan and shadow.^^ Close
beside the bridge is a blacksmith^s forge: the clink,
clink of the hammer comes musically across
the river, red sparks fly out at the door ; blan-
chisseuses are wringing linen in the water ; two
or three boys are fishing with willow wands as
rods, their breeches tucked up above their knees ;
behind is the terraced gardens of the pension,
its stifi", straight, formal walks, its cloisters and
Miss Holt, the head of the pension, is at
tea with her pupils. Thyrza is generally hungry,
as it is given only to schoolgirls and schoolboys
to be ; but on this evening her appetite has
deserted her, and she is enjoying the sweets
of her favourite seat — a forbidden pleasure,
and in consequence a much prized and doubly
44 BROWN AS A BERRY.
In a short time she will be obliged to go into
the house to superintend the younger pupils
preparing their lessons^ while she mends the
house linen. Having reached the mature age
of seventeen her education is supposed to be
finished^ and as Miss Holt gives out she receives
but little money in payment for her board,
Thyrza in return saves Miss Holt the expense
of employing a junior English teacher ; and Mr.
Spindler, out of disinterested friendship, continues
gratuitously his music lessons.
In July the holidays begin, but there will
not be much amusement for Thyrza : she will
be left alone in the pension with old Mere
Pantoutfle, while Miss Holt is enjoying herself
in London or Brighton. Being an orphan
without a fortune, Thyrza has her own way to
make. Occasionally she has visions of going to
Stuttgardt, as Mr. Spindler suggests, to study
music and become a professional. Anything
will be better than droning out her existence
in this dead-alive pension : it would even be
pleasanter to be a housemaid or one of the
peasant women who work hard in the fields,
for they are independent and can earn money,
whilst Thyrza never knows what it is to call
a sixpence her own, and for years has never
had a new dress, always wearing Miss Holt^s
BROWN AS A BERRY. 45
old ones. All ! if she could only go to Stutt-
gardt ! But then, where is the money to come
from ? To be sure, she does not want for rela-
tions. She has several uncles and aunts, all
married and well-to-do in the world, and pro-
vided with more or less numerous families ; but
Mr. and Mrs. Rutherfiird having offended their
people by their marriage, Thyrza shrinks from
asking for their assistance.
Mr. and Mrs. Rutherfurd had made an im-
prudent match and married on about ninety
pounds a year. Mr. Rutherfurd was a gentle-
man born, the younger son of the Rutherfurds
of High Riggs, a well-known Scotch family of
distinction. Dreamy, enthusiastic, always build-
ing improbable speculations as to what he would
do if he had '' time to look about him," im-
practical, unpunctual, a mere child in business
matters, John Rutherfurd was totally unfittec^
to fight his way through a contest in whicl
the weakest go to the wall. Both he and his
wife having seriously displeased their relatives
by their marriage, when impecunious times came
both husband and wife vainly appealed to their
people for assistance. Mrs. Rutherfurd^s sister
had married a captain in the navy, called Salton,
now appointed Inspecting Commander of Her
Majesty^s Coastguard at Marshley-on-the- Wolds
46 BROWN AS A BERRY.
in L shire. Captain and Mrs. Salton were
well off, but tlieir opinion was that !Mrs. Ruther-
furd had chosen her lot, and now she must make
the best of it. She had been deaf to good
advice, and must reap the consequences. Mr.
and Mrs. Rutherfurd found the consequences
by no means pleasant. Love may have sufficed
for all wants in a past age, but it certainly does
not in this age of prosaic realities. At last,
through the interest of a friend in Shanghai, a
situation as clerk in a bank in that city was
offered to Mr. Rutherfurd, which he was glad
enough to accept; and accordingly, eighteen
years before this little sketch begins, Mr. and
Mrs. Rutherfurd went out to China. After a
brief sojourn in Shanghai Mrs. Rutherfurd
succumbed to the fever of the country, and a
few months later Mr. Rutherfurd followed her
to the grave, leaving little Thyrza a legacy to
whomsoever would take charge of her.
One of Mr. Rutherfurd^s friends, a young
merchant, Luke Mark by name, goodnaturedly
undertook the care of the child, and bringing
her over to Europe, placed her on the recom-
mendation of a clergyman, whose daughters Miss
Holt had educated, at the pension of S. Sebas-
tian the Martyr. But who provides the money
defraying the expenses of her education, Thyrza
BROWN AS A BERRY. 47
does not know. A small sum has hitherto
been paid regularly, and Miss Holt never fails
to remind the girl that she especially ought to
behave herself, and feel deeply grateful, for she
has been taught and fed on next door to charity.
Mr. Mark, occupied with his business and
mercantile transactions in China, never wrote
to her ; and Thyrza, on her part, did not trouble
him with letters. The years and the seasons
came and went : spring wore into summer ; June
roses bloomed and faded ; autumn^s harvests
were garnered, and winter^s cold winds returned,
but no letters, and no relations ever visited the
dull pension in the quaint town of Villios, where
Thyrza spent her childish days. Other girls
grew up and left school; they had their friends,
their fathers and mothers, and sisters and
brothers. Thyrza^s wistful dark eyes often filled
with tears, and her face had a strange hungry
look when she saw the happy family parties that
assembled at the Christmas and Midsummer holi-
days. The girls frequently invited her to pay them
visits at their homes, but Miss Holt invariably ob-
jected. How could Thyrza go gadding about out
visiting when she had no clothes and no money
to spare ? It was a likely thing that she (Miss
Holt) could afford to give Thyrza railway tickets !
Did she not, as it was, keep her merely out of
48 BROWN AS A BERRY.
kindness because she was a waif and stray, of
no consequence to any one ; a creature wlio^ if
she died to-morrow, would never be missed
from the world's stage ? Thyrza might be very
thankful to have so good a home as the pension.
What had she to complain of? Well^ when
put down and classified on paper, perhaps not
much, but to a warm-hearted girl like Thyi'za,
life with Miss Holt is simply starvation. She
is just at the age when sympathy and kindness
are everything, and Miss Holt has about as much
sympathy for the little whims and vanities of
Thyrza as a piece of stone has for the lichen
which covers it. " If I could but make money V
she muses, as she sits in the apple-tree and
watches a fat bumble-bee drowsily buzzing from
a pink-scented chaliced flower to a carmine
opening bud ; and the shadows of the bridge are
reflected — massive piers and grotesque carvings —
on the smooth, shining surface of the sleepy river,
without a single quiver or ripple to mar the
perfection of the duplicate. Below, a sharp-
nosed water-rat sidles cautiously along among
the tall-bladed grasses ; the scentless dog-violets
and golden-marsh marigolds splash into the
water ; then the bubbles burst ; the circles
diverge, each one growing wider than the last,
until they are stranded and wrecked upon an
BROWN AS A BERRY. 49
islet of water-lily leaves. The sun is westering
towards the vineyard- covered mountains ; the
spring twilight slowly creeps up_, and the flush
of rosy brilliance fades out from the grey gables
of the old pension, the many storied houses,
and the warm rich red tones of the peaked,
sloping roofs. The boys have left off Ashing;
the eldest of them forms them into a regiment
of soldiers, placing himself at their head; they
shoulder the willow wands as rifles :
" Aux armes : citoyens !
Formez vos bataillons.
Marchez ! marchez ! qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons,"
A strong-minded British female tourist, in-
tent upon ^^ doing^" Villios, and getting the full
value of her money, looks up from the immortal
" Murray^^ in which she reads — " Villios built
time of the Goths, &c.,^' to remonstrate with
the blanchisseuses who are beating the linen
violently with good sized stones. They pay no
attention to her interference ; she resolves not
to patronize the Villios washerwomen.
How do other people make money, wonders
Thyrza ; and what can she do towards obtaining
her purpose. She is not clever and can do
nothing particularly well. She is not even
certain that she has a real talent for music.
VOL. I. 4
50 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Then she is by no means pretty, and has not
pleasing manners, nor yet the taste and sense
when to say and do the right thing. One may
say the right tiling, but it is useless to do so
ten minutes too late. The difficulty is to judge
when is the exact moment. Thyrza sighs and
comes to the conclusion she will "just have^^ to
go on in the old groove for the remainder of
her days, unless something very extraordinary
happens such as occurred this morning.
How rude the strange gentleman was ! He
was not at all like a hero. To have made the
adventure complete, he ought to have been
nearly seven feet high, handsome as Apollo,
gallant as Launcelot, chivalrous as King Arthur ;
au contraire, he is of the ordinary height, has grey
hair, and even in the palmy days of his youth
could never by any possibility whatsoever have
been called a fine looking man. • As to Thyrza,
what a chance she has lost of distinguishing
herself. "Time is, time was.'^ The golden
opportunity has slipped from her. All she has
done creditably was jumping out of the window.
That did not take her an instant to accomplish.
Suppose some kind uncle should conveniently
depart this life, and leave to his dear niece and
kinswoman, Thyrza Rutherfurd, his fortune and
worldly goods ! Delicious idea ! what costumes
BROWN AS A BERRY. 51
and ravisHng toilettes would Tliyrza invest in !
•what gloves and boots ! No more of Miss
Holt^s discarded dresses which never fitted her^
and made her look as though she had stufied the
body of her gown with the table-cloth ! No
more teaching, and mending, and hard words,
and sour looks. She will give presents to Mr.
Spindler and M. Paul, the barber, who, on a
certain memorable occasion unknown to Miss
Holt, took Thyrza to the theatre ; she will have
a carriage and a pair of ponies, and go on a
travelling expedition round the world. Most
girls marry, she reflected; no one will marry
her. She is not beautiful enough, so the fortune
will compensate her for a lover — reasoning
which wiser persons than Thyrza have arrived
at, if the numerous appKcations for solatium in
breach of promise cases may be taken as a criterion.
And she will have — well, everyone builds castles
in the air, not more substantial, and often about
as probable of realization as Thyrza^s chateau en
Espagne. But how sweet and pleasant are these
dreams ! No annoyances ; no petty vexations ;
no worrying trifles enter into their airy halls.
We do not calculate for them. Lying under
a wide- spreading beech tree, blowing a cloud on
a summer day : — in that cozy armchair over the
fire after some '48 Port ; — coming home after
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
52 BKOWN AS A BERRY.
that splendid spin with the hounds ; rocking
lazily as a sunlit sea at the bottom of the
boat, with that companion of our joys and
troubles, the sharer in our triumphs and down-
falls — our pipe, we build charming fabrics of
what we will do when we get that money, that
living, that '' step,''"' that appointment. After
all, if it came true, would the reality be half as
fair as our pictured vision ? Does anything
ever come up to our expectations ? When
the desire of our soul is granted unto us, we
often find it valueless. What we thought a
precious stone lying among the green fern
fronds and veronicas is only a piece of common
glass, not worth the exertion of stooping to
pick up ; the gold we fancied we had found
is dross ; what we bartered our honour and
truth away for, rewards us with perfidy; the
fruit that tempts us with its soft luscious ex-
terior is full of bitterness. The most brilliant
and perfect creations of brush or pen fall
far short of that still more beautiful original
in the artistes brain, which not embodied in
the concrete is probably invested in proportion
with superior charms.
There is the half-hour striking from the church
tower, whose pinnacles " prick" the evening sky.
Thyrza ought to have been in the school-room
BROWN AS A BERRY. 53
long ago. She looks out of the apple branches,
and, to her horror, sees Miss Holt walking
straight down to her pet tree. Adieu vache
veau ! We know how poor Alnaschar mourned
over the destruction of his future hopes, in the
City of Roses. Thyrza hastily gathers up the
skirt of the canary- coloured dress, spotted thickly
with large black dots the size of a half-crown
piece, and prepares for war. With ordinary
good fortune. Miss Holt ought not to discover
Thyrza^s vicinity; but, as ill-luck will have it,
part of the canary skirt flutters into view. The
Byron Thyrza has abstracted from Miss Holt^s
shelves falls precipitately on to the ground, and
a peal of girlish laughter is heard apparently
from the depths of the tree. What will Miss
Holt say to the Byron ? Thyrza has been told
on no consideration to read it, and of course
has experienced the greatest wish, like Eve, to
see what it is like, and why it is wicked. Further
concealment is useless.
^' Thyrza ! I am astonished at your behaviour I
You are too old now for these tomboy tricks/^
A beaming brown face appears from among
clusters of shell-tinted white, perfumed apple-
blossoms, fresh and bright as the flowers them-
selves, and bubbling over with irrepressible
54 BROWN AS A BEREY.
'^ Do you want me, Miss Holt ?" she inquires,
meekly, aware slie is overdue for her duties in
the school-room by three-quarters of an hour.
" Oh, Thyrza V shaking her head slowly and
mournfully, " you will come to no good if you
go on in this way ! A young woman at your
time of life, who has no fortune to look to, ought
to prepare herself for all emergencies. What
will become of you T'
'^ Don^t know, and don^t care.-^'
'^ Don't care was hanged,^^ says Miss Holt.
"Then they can^t hang him again,^'' returns
Thyrza. "If the worst comes to the worst,
why, I will sweep a crossing, or perhaps come
out as a coryphee," hoping this will shock Miss
Holt, in which aspiration her wishes succeed.
Miss Holt is horrified. She turns up the whites
of her eyes towards the setting sun in a pious
manner, and sighs profoundly. Evidently much
consoled by this exhibition of her religious feel-
ings, she renews the point with Thyrza, who is
forced to spring down from her refuge. She
descends with merely the accident of tearing
some folds of the dreadful canary garment from
the gathers. At this mishap she involuntarily
gives a prolonged whistle ; she is fully cognizant
of the fact this is a shockingly unladylike, im-
proper, and most reprehensible habit — an accom-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 55
plishment not heard of in Miss Holt^s young
days — and, in general, it has the effect upon that
lady which shaking a red rag has upon a bull.
She looks grave ; Thyrza's sins and offences are
great. She is too old now to be shut up in a
dark room all day, with the invigorating diet of
bread and water as a consolation, in which
manner some dreary hours of her childhood
have been passed. With commendable presence
of mind Thyrza picks up the Byron, very nearly
indulging in a farewell whistle, but checking
herself in time, she stands still to hear what
Miss Holt has got to say.
Miss Holt has watched the descent of her junior
English teacher from the tree with suppressed im-
patience. Spare, neat, angular, lynx-eyed, she is
the terror of the pension domestics, of the Villios
tradespeople, and of the gardener especially, who
at this moment is leaning on his spade, not even
attempting to work, as she would have remarked
if she had spoken her thoughts aloud. If Miss
Holt could have had her own way, and arranged
the world according to her ideas, the flowers
should have toiled and spun for their bright
robes, and the birds have done something for
their living besides making the earth glad with
their songs. Being so industrious herself, the
dolce far niente is to her an unutterable abomina-
56 BROWN AS A BERRY.
tion; people who are delicate, or possessed of
nerves, she does not believe in, setting them
down as humbugs. On her looking at the
gardener, he thinks it advisable to make a show
of working, and towards executing this object
inserts his spade into the ground in a languid
manner, which causes Miss Holt to long to give
him a good shaking on the spot.
" I have got a letter for you, Thyrza.^'
"A letter for me!" exclaims Thyrza, "wonders
will never cease,^^ as Miss Holt hands her an
epistle, duly addressed to " Miss Thyrza Ruther-
furd, care of Miss Holt, Pension de S. Sebastian
the Martyr, Departement , France/^ Miss
Holt has opened it, and made herself acquainted
with the contents, which are to this effect : —
LiLLiESHiLL, May 17th, 1872.
'^ Dear Miss E-utherfurd, — As I imagine
you must now be verging upon that important
period when young ladies leave school, I have
been thinking about what is to be done re-
garding your future. I came home from China
via San Francisco and New York, that being
a more convenient way than the other round
by the Suez Canal, or I should have taken a
look at Paris and come on to see you, and the
good lady who has been so kind to you. Since
BROWN AS A BERRY. 57
my arrival at Lilliesliill I have written to several
of your relation Sj as they are your natural
protectors,, but they tell me they have as much
as they can do to bring up their own families ;
of course I can have no idea about your capabi-
lities or what plans you may have formed for
yourself; however^ I may mention a friend of
mine in the neighbourhood of Lillieshill is in
want of a governess for her children. She is
an extremely amiable woman, and at any rate
you would have a good comfortable home.
Whether you decide upon accepting the situa-
tion or not, I shall be glad to see you ; and my
uncle and aunt, Mr. and Miss Lefroy, with
whom I am staying for the present, hope you
will come and spend two or three weeks with
us. I am not sure if I have ever told you
so before, but I am not your guardiau, although
I have in a measure virtually acted that part.
I knew your poor father well, and should be
happy for his sake to see his daughter advan-
tageously settled in life. I have written to
Miss Holt, enclosing a cheque for the last six
months of your education, &c., and also an-
other for your journey money : should there be
more than you require spend it on any trifle
you may fancy. I shall be going up to town
within a fort nighty and hope therefore that you
58 BROWN AS A BERRY.
will start as soon (if possible) as you receive
this note. With kind regards^ and hoping you
will manage your travels in safety. I have
given Miss Holt full particulars on the subject,
which I have no doubt she will explain to you.
" Believe me, yours truly,
^' Luke Mark.
^' P.S. — Address, Lillieshill, near Queensmuir,
Kilniddry shire, Scotland. I see I forgot to write
the full address at the beginning of my letter,
so to prevent mistakes give it now.^^
" I don't want to go,'*^ says Thyrza, with the
natural perversity of human nature; now the
object of her longings is within her grasp, it
suddenly loses its piquant flavour, till at once
the pension becomes dear to her. Miss Holt
seems her best friend; the verj pile of linen
waiting in the school-room for her unwilling
fingers to darn the wide and frequent rents and
thin places is invested with a fresh light. They
are all old familiar acquaintances ; through force
of habit she has become accustomed to them,
and they to her — one cannot say attached, for
it would be difficult for Miss Holt to inspire auy
one with affection; she is hard and dry, and
never called human being darling in the fifty
odd years that have elapsed since Maria Holt
BROWN AS A BERRY. 59
first saw tlie light. A loug series of disappoint-
ments will wear creases in the softest and
"DonH be ridiculous,, Thyrza/^ answers Miss
Holt, testily. ^^ You will have to go. Mr.
Mark has paid for your school expenses himself.
Now he is tired of doing so, and consequently
wishes you to work for yourself.^'
'^I wonder if he would let me go to Stuttgardt/^
says Thyrza, in a meditative voice.
" Nonsense ! Who is to support you while
you are studying ? Come into the house at
once, and I will get you a box, and help you
to pack. It is a pity I must lose you. I shall
not be so well suited again.^^
Miss Holt is quite right. It will be some
time before she obtains such a convenient
pupil as Thyrza ; one whose money she can
pocket, and no awkward questions be asked.
They enter the school-room, where a busy
murmur of voices is heard from the girls learning
their lessons for the following day. In the
next room a small child is practising the minor
scale of A. She plays the notes irregularly.
They come in scrambling like a flock of sheep.
In another apartment some one is studying
Gounod's march from Faust, and a third a
lively Scotch air; all three sounds, the doleful
60 BROWN AS A BEERY.
scale of A minor ; the soldier's cliorus ; the
light tunes, jar and jangle with each other.
There is the chair Thyrza ought to have occu-
pied, and the big clothes' basket with its freight
ready to be repaired. Mademoiselle Lambert,
an elderly person with a long nose, black eyes,
very thin hair much covered with pomade, and
an erection of red silk on the top of her head,
has supplied her place. She is devouring a
novel called " Georgine," and says warningly,
" S-sh ! Marie, vous ne faites rien'' as Miss
Holt and Thyrza pass through the school-room.
"Would not YOU like to return to me,
Thyrza, after your visit to Scotland V asks
Miss Holt, who has been pondering deeply how
inconvenient it is to part with Thyrza, and
wondering when she will be able again to pick
up so cheap a bargain.
" No, thank you. Miss Holt,'' answers
Thyrza, firmly. Her momentary regret has passed
away into a sensation of joy and delight at
the prospect of release from the prison-house
of the pension, and glowing expectations of what
will happen out in the world, of which she
knows so little, and paints to herself in such
OING away, Thyrza ? What will be-
come of me without my best pupil ?"
laments Mr. Spindler.
He is standing at the door of the Flying
Dragon, whither the diligence in which Thyrza
is seated has returned from the pension in order
to pick up Madame Dawson^s luggage. Madame
Dawson is the lady with the green satin dress
and ruby velvet bonnet whom Thyrza watched
arrive the morning before, from Trois d^Or. She
came for the purpose of installing two of her
children under Miss Holt^s fostering care, and
to-day she is going to travel as far as Paris.
To-morrow she goes to Calais, and will cross
from thence to Dover. She intends making
some stay in London. Miss Holt has asked
that Thyrza may accompany her to London,
where she is to spend a night, starting for Scot-
land from King's Cross by the 10 a.m. train the
62 BROWN AS A BEERY.
following morning. As yet Thyrza has not
been introduced to Madame Dawson; but the
pleasure is not to be much longer postponed^ for
she sees the green folds of a satin dress^, rustling
down the passage where yesterday she followed
Mr. Ferrier into the billiard-room.
" Oh, you will soon get another pupil/^ says
" Not one like you ; so good_, so attentive/^
'^^And who is so fond of her darling old
master/^ smiles Thyrza. " I am so sorry to
leave you, Mr. Spindler. You have always been
very kind to me.^'
^^Thou wilt write, Thyrza, and tell me how
thou gettest on when far away from Villios?
Once I go to Edinburgh to see a friend whom
I first knew in Stuttgardt. We studied together
at the Conservatorium, and he was Kapel-Meister
for two years to the king. But jealousy came,
and his enemies made poor Louis leave Stuttgardt
and go to Scotland. On week days it was all
very well in Edinburgh, but on the Sundays
it was too awful ! After I had been to my
chapel, I had nothing to do. If you play
the piano on the Sunday you will have a whole
crowd round the house. Ach ! I live de oder
days, but on the Sundays I only wegetate P^
BROWN AS A BERRY. 63
" We may as -well say good-bye now/^ says
Miss Holt j " it will soon be time for you to
give Mademoiselle Tbibault her lesson/^
" Lebewohl^ Tbyrza/^ says Mr. Spindler,
lapsing, according to Ms wont wben carried away
by bis feelings, into bis beloved harmonious
German, " take care of thyself and forget not
the old man^^ (shaking hands heartily). "When
I publish my etude on Scotch airs, it shall be
dedicated to thee, Rosleinroth.'''
" Good-bye, Mr. Spindler. I will practise
the sonatas regularly, and will only get some of
Ascher^s music as a treat to refresh me," answers
Thyrza, warmly. Mr. Spindler does not much
approve of Ascher ; brilliant and dashing without
solidity or thoroughness, is his opinion of that
He moves a step forward and shakes his head
in deprecation of Thyrza's pretended preference
(she has only said so to teaze him) of Ascher's
music over the sublime works of Mozart, Haydn,
Beethoven, and Handel.
" Lebewohl, Thyrza V' he repeats, tenderly and
reluctantly. Dear old Mr. Spindler, who has
initiated Thyrza into the mysteries and art of
music, from reading her notes and the five-finger
exercise to the " Moonlight Sonata" and Sachs's
Passion music, she would give him a kiss were
64 BROWN AS A BERRY.
not Miss Holt and Mr. Ferrier standing on the
doorsteps looking at her. She does not mind
Miss Holt in the least ; to her she has shaken
off all allegiance and obedience^ and is free as
air or the wave on the sea, and can no longer be
called to account for bad behaviour. But when
she reaches down to where short, fat Mr.
Spindler stands, sadness depicted on his face,
a large snuff-box in his hand, a ray of sunshine
sloping through the tiny slit of blue heaven
visible between the red roofs of the high storied
houses touching his venerable head with silver,
she catches a look of extreme amusement in
Mr. Ferrier^s grey eyes. She draws hastily
back into the diligence ; Mr. Ferrier is smoking
a cigar, a cloud of smoke goes curling up into
the air by the vermilion and gold sign of the
Flying Dragon. At his side is the little
Italian, his head bound up across his brow,
but otherwise looking the picture of mirth
and health. The guinea-pig is adorned with
a collar and small chain now ; a safer arrange-
ment than that of allowing it to be at liberty.
Mr. Spindler would fain say more, but as he
begins to speak, Madame Dawson, closely veiled,
sails out under the porch, and Miss Holt
approaching to effect the introduction, he is
almost demolished and swept away by the tide
BROWN AS A BERRY. 65
of wide^ flowing petticoats and insubordinate
Miss Holt kisses Thyrza for the first and the
last time since she has dwelt within the walls of
S. Sebastian the Martyr. After all, she will
miss the girl with her picturesque face, her
gentle manners, and untidy ways; the pension
will not seem itself for a few days without
Thyrza, who has been so long a tenant of its
dark, sombre rooms. Perhaps, too, the recol-
lection of sundry meannesses practised on the
unsuspecting child occurs to her mind reproach-
fully. It is very inconvenient too for the junior
English teacher to take her departure so much
before the holidays begin. However, one cannot
always regulate these little contretemps to one^s
liking, and, on the whole, Miss Holt has made
an extremely good thing out of Thyrza.
Madame Dawson is successfully launched into
the diligence, and expresses her happiness at
making Thyrza^s acquaintance.
Mr. Spindler once more attempts to speak,
but Miss Holt promptly interferes, and he re-
tires, muttering to himself in German under his
breath. The door is closed now and the rickety
vehicle is about to start, when Mr. Terrier flings
away the remains of his cigar, and running up to
the diligence, places one foot on the step that
VOL. I. 5
66 BEOWN AS A BERRY.
assists you to climb up, and gives Thyrza a
beautiful Gloire de Dijon rose. It is only the
middle of May, so it must have been forced in a
hothouse. Madame Dawson clearly thinks it is
intended for her, and wishes to take it from
Thyrza, but Mr. Ferrier says distinctly, " C^est
pour Mademoiselle Thyrza,^^ continuing more
fluently in English, " I regret it is such a
poor flower. Keep it in remembrance — shall
I say of a disagreeable man?''
" Thanks, Monsieur,^'' returns Thyrza, lighting
up with a smile that displays two rows of pearly
The driver cracks his whip, the wretched
horses move, and in another moment Thyrza is
driving at a jog-trot through Villios. A few
minutes more and she will leave the old-
fashioned town and ail its historic associations
behind. It is an ancient town, which carries one
back to the splendour and chivalry of a past
century, when brilliant cavalcades rode through
the narrow streets ; when courtiers placed all
their fortunes in ropes of pearls and jewels on
their clothes ; when the king was secure on his
throne, feasting in mar])le palaces, and the pea-
sants died by scores in misery, after lives of
abject toil and poverty. A town with a thousand
memories, and a great solemn cathedral still
BROWN AS A BEREY. 67
consecrated by the fervent prayers breathed out
on its chequered stone pavements by pious souls
in times gone past ; a grey town, with dried up
moats round its massive ramparts filled with
cherry trees — at present one cloud of scented
snow; a peaceful town, with a broad, sleepy,
apple-orchard bordered river, beyond which comes
a rich, fertile, corn-growing country ; a land
indeed flowing with milk and honey, and girt
in and bounded by a low range of vineyard-
Mr. Ferrier has gone into the billiard-room in
the hotel; but Mr. Spindler and M. Paul, the
Villios barber and coiffeur par excellence, watch
the diligence until a turn of the street hides
both them and the Flying Dragon, from sight.
As the diligence whisks round the sharp corner,
Thyrza waves her handkerchief; whether Mr.
Spindler sees it or not she cannot tell.
It is market day. The travellers pass many
carts containing butter, and cheese, and milk,
and spring vegetables of various kinds. Jogging
along the dusty roads with their patient beasts of
burden, are sev^eral peasants who sometimes stop
at a rain-begrimed weather-beaten stone fountain,
surmounted by a figure of the Madonna and Child,
to refresh their thirsty animals. Villios and its pink
and white apple orchards, its large river, good Mr.
68 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Spindler and the pension where Thyrza has
passed twelve years of her existence, dwindle and
lessen in the distance.
Madame Dawson complains of a migraine,
declares the odour of a huge bouquet of flowers,
a gift to Thyrza from some of her school friends,
is etouffante. She has the windows first opened
and then shut ; she deluges herself with eau-de-
Cologne and Jockey Club, and is altogether rest-
less and uncomfortable. At Trois d'Or several
passengers alight, leaving only a commis-voyageur
and two soldiers in the conveyance with Madame
and Thyrza. The soldiers discuss the late war
and abuse ces cochons des Prussiejis. The
commis-voyageur explains his belief that if he
had been at the head of afi'airs things would
have been very difi'erent. Why did not Bazaine
make a sortie from Metz ? But the generals
conspired among themselves to sell France to
the enemy, and they ought all to have been
shot for their treachery. Marshal Macmahon
was the only patriot among them. As for the
Man of Sedan, nothing could excuse his conduct
or exonerate him from the charge of the blackest
ingratitude to France, who had made his fortune
and raised him from obscurity. The soldiers do
not agree. They blame the generals also; but
they are unanimous in asserting, that the Emperor
BROWN AS A BERRY. 69
was deceived by his ministers regarding the state
of the army.
While changing horses at Trois d'Or, they go
into the hotel to partake of coffee with a dash of
brandy in it. There is no railway either to
Villios or Trois d^Or, so the diligence proceeds
to Rouge ville, from whence there is a direct line
to Paris. The soldiers and commis-voyageur
return to resume their argument ; under cover of
the sound of their voices^ Madame waxes con-
fidential, and tells Thyrza her history. As far
as can be seen through the black veil, she is a
very handsome woman with bright yellow hair,
pretty nearly the colour of Thyrza^s obnoxious and
detested canary gown now safely stowed away at
the very bottom of her box. By birth she is an
Andalusian. Her husband was a poor English
artist, who had nothing but his pencil on which
to depend for bread and cheese. He came to a
small village in Andalusia on a holiday expedi-
tion, seeking subjects for an academy picture.
Madame was the belle of the village. She sat
to Mr. Dawson in various characters as model.
Mr. Dawson fell in lo'^^e. Being under the im-
pression she would be taken to rich England and
live on the fat of the land, Madame thought she
would try the experiment. It was preferable to
marrying poor Carlos, the muleteer. But what
70 BROWN AS A BEREY.
eyes Carlos had ! and what a devoted heart !
So Madame and Mr. Dawson went to the little
church of San Juan, on the hillside near the
village^ and were married. And Carlos became
a brigand, and was shot while pillaging an
English milord. A bad ending ! — not at all.
Far more poetical than if he had borne his
reverse with fortitude, and eventually married
ViolantC; the wealthy olive merchant's daughter,
who would have given her fingers for him.
However, Madame had reckoned her chickens
before they were hatched, and Mr. Augustus
Dawson and she lived in cheap lodgings in a
part of Paris generally known as the Qu artier
Latin, the favourite residence of artists, stu-
dents, and literary people of a Bohemian taste.
Madame evidently disliked that portion of her
life. It was not what she had expected, and
was slower than the Andalusian village where
she danced boleros with Carlos, and broke the
hearts of half the youog fellows in the neigh-
bourhood. She thought that with her personal
advantages she ought to have made a better
match than " pauvre Auguste/' who had blindly
" I wanted to go to the theatre and amuse
myself when he was busy working — it was always
work, work with him — but he would never let
BROWN AS A BERRY. 71
me" mourns Madame. During the past year
he overworked himself over a large picture in-
tended for the English Academy^ and before it
was hung his health gave way completely, and
he died. The very day of his death news came
from England that an old aunt_, who during her
lifetime had steadily refused him assistance, had
gone to that bourne whence no traveller — in spite
of what Home and the spiritualists may urge to
the contrary — has been known, at least in modern
times, to return, leaving him nearly a hundred
thousand pounds. The good fortune came too
late. A little of that wealth a few months earlier
might have saved him ; but the man was dying,
the sands of life were fast running out. He was
just able to scrawl a few words and sign his
name, willing all his property away to his " be-
loved Preciosa,^^ when he died.
" And he is buried in Pere la Chaise,^^ con-
tinues Madame, cheerfully, " in what Auguste
used to call a ' nice snog ' spot.''"'
" Shall you go and see his grave when we
pass through Paris ?^' asks Thyrza, with respect
for Madame^s sorrow.
" Ah ! no,^^ says Madame, fanning herself
languidly and glancing with complacence on the
superb diamond and ruby bracelets she had
bought with " pauvre Auguste's^'' money. " Ah !
72 BROWN AS A BERRY.
no. It makes me so triste. It can do Au^ste
no good. I do not like the tristesse ! It gives
me a migraine. And many migraines spoil the
After this Madame Dawson goes off com-
fortably to sleep, nodding up and down as the
unwieldy lumbering diligence slips from one rut
into another. While Thyrza, left to her own
reflections^ gazes dreamily at the fields of young
growing wheat and maize; the chapels and
hamlets ; the wayside crosses and images of the
Madonna ; here and there a small plantation of
trees ; the pointed extinguisher towers of a
nobieman^s chateau^ which seem to flit by in
the eight miles that divide Trois d^Or from
Rougeville. The presence of a large and flou-
rishing manufacturing town is denoted by the
increasing number of houses of importance, and
by the dense smoke rising high above the tall
brick chimneys,, and resting like a pillar of cloud
over the city.
At the station Madame is awakened from
her slumbers by the halting of the diligence.
Thyrza and she gather together her numerous
maps and divers reticules, scent-bottles, novels,
&c., for beguiling the tedium of the journey, and
almost immediately afterwards they are added to
the number of caged individuals in the waiting-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 73
room, where several distracted and irritated
Britons, withheld from the privilege of parading
up and down the platform, are becoming furious,
threatening complaints to the heads of the police
and the managers of the railway company.
Madame^s appearance creates quite a sensation,
which apparently is rather gratifying to her
than otherwise. For she takes it all very quietly,
settles herself at once into a more becoming
attitude than she troubled herself to assume
when left in the diligence with only Thyrza and
the soldiers as spectators ; arranges the strings
of the minute velvet gipsy bonnet under her soft
white chin ; runs her fingers, covered with
jewels, through the meshes of her exceedingly
golden locks ; shakes the folds of her dress so as
to display the point of a bronze kid boot, and
swings slowly backwards and forwards a large
black Spanish fan.
The men put up their eyeglasses and stare :
the women stare too, study the cut of Madame^s
apparel, which is certainly perfection : the dress
which shows through a transparent Chant illy
lace shawl, thrown carelessly back, fitting
like a second skin to the magnificently deve-
loped bust and grandly proportioned neck and
shoulders ; and then they draw away their petti-
coats from contact with Madame^s skirt.
74 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Madame sees it well enough. She endeavours
to remove the thick black Shetland veil she has
hitherto worn, which has concealed her features
completely, making it an impossibility to know
whether the mask hides a face hideous as the
veiled prophet^s, or one rivalling the Venus de^
Medici in beauty.
" Will Mademoiselle Thyrza help me to un-
fasten this V she asks, after attempting in vain
to untie the knot with her left hand, on the
wedding finger of which she wears the correct
plain gold ring, and above, a keeper of dia-
One of the waiting-room windows looks out
upon a sort of country, and at the back of the
station. In this, six workmen are having their
dinner, on a rude table, constructed out of a plank
of wood resting on two unequal sticks, not very
securely fixed in the ground. Their meal con-
sists of huge chunks of brown, nearly black
bread ; raw turnips, carrots, and cheese, washed
down by draughts of weak cold tea. They are
all of them fine, well grown specimens of men ;
tall, broad shouldered, lengthy of limb, brawny
of muscle ; their arms, bared above the elbow,
are white as a woman^s, and the blue veins
and muscles stand out like whipcord. They
have come from near the Black Forest to seek
BROWN AS A BERRY. 75
employment, and are natives of the Harz Moun-
tains. Thyrza, sitting near the window, cannot
help observing them ; she moves out of sight ;
then comes back to see if they are still there ;
moves again ; returns ; meets their eyes ; at this
game of Bo-peep they laugh, and Thyrza, smil-
ing also, goes towards Madame Dawson.
Accordingly, after some little difficulty, she
unties the knot : Madame murmurs her thanks;
folding the veil, she places it in her reticule,
and turns on Thyrza the loveliest countenance
she ever beheld. Features cut like those of a
Greek statue : dazzling white skin with a soft
peach bloom upon it : a mouth like an Apollo^s
bow ; eyes of the hue of blue cornflowers or
sapphires, whichever simile you may prefer, and
yellow hair of a profusion and brightness which
seems as though it must certainly owe more to
art than nature.
The women are stagnated at Madame's assu-
rance, and retire as far as is possible, without
being markedly uncivil, but Madame does not
care. She has the admiration and attention of
every man in the room concentrated upon her,
and she can afibrd to despise the unfeigned
dislike and opprobrium of her own sex. Besides,
what is the admiration of a score of womeu^,
compared with the compliments of even one
76 BROWN AS A BERRY.
man? Thyrza envies Madame her sangfroid
and nonchalance. How charmingly she would
have played the part of heroine yesterday, in
which Thyrza failed so lamentably. Madame
would not have been gauche and stupid : she
would have had some jeu d'esprit with which to
extinguish Mr. Ferrier, when he made such rude
remarks. The door being thrown open, puts an
end to the little silent pantomime, and there
is an universal rush for seats. One of the
Englishmen who has stormed so violently con-
cerning his forced detention in the waiting-room,
a big blonde man who, like the gentleman in
Punch has ^' grown through his hair,^' occu-
pies one corner of Madame^s coupe. He has
a handsome, rather baby-face, with not much
expression in his countenance, and enters into
conversation with Madame, whose beauty has
made a deep impression upon him. He speaks
French as well as Madame does English ; but
presently Madame begins talking in the latter
language. No one takes the slightest notice of
Thyrza, of which she is not sorry; for it is a
sight in itself to witness Madame's gestures : her
exact knowledge of the way she shows to most
advantage ; leaning her head on one hand with
the black fan half closed, as a set-off to the
delicate contour of her regular profile and Titian-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 77
like colouring : then looking round suddenly,
with a smile that parts the half-pouting scarlet
lips just enough and no more.
What would Mr. Ferrier have thought of
her, reflects Thyrza. To be sure, he would
have admired her. To a person of his rough
blunt exterior, her voluptuous style would be
especially captivating. How odd of him to
have given her the rose ! He did not seem a
pleasant man ; yet he was very kind and gentle
with the small Italian, and no woman^s hands
could have gone to work more softly or carefully
than did his.
Madame chatters and laughs, eats bonbons
from a tiny box embroidered with gold and set
with turquoises. The Englishman pulls his long
blonde beard when invention fails him, as it does
every quarter of an hour. For a brilliant re-
mark he says, " Haw, aw ; just so,^^ and twirls
the ends of his moustache.
In the course of the evening they reach Paris,
Madame^s friend repairs to the Salle des Bagages,
and after a struggle with the commissionnaires,
secures a fiacre for her, and, radiant with suc-
cess, announces that her luggage, including
Thyrza^s one box, is safely upon it. He in-
quires if there is anything further he can do for
her, also where she is going to stay for the
78 BROWN AS A BERRY.
niglit. She gives Mm the address and laugh-
ingly bids him adieu. Thyrza cannot help
speculating upon Miss Holt's probable remarks,
could she behold Madame Dawson's free and
It is eight o'clock in the evening. Crowds of
people are sauntering in the streets and on the
Boulevards, enjoying the cool air after the
warmth and business of the day ; crowds of
people sit sipping coffee and smoking cigars
outside the cafes ; crowds of carriages, omnibuses,
every description of vehicle, cross and recross
in every direction.
Madame Dawson directs the driver of the
fiacre to an hotel, and after having some supper,
Thyrza goes to bed and is soon fast asleep, too
tired to dream of any of the sights she has seen
since the morning.
The steamer — '' warranted Al, fast sailing,
fitted up with every luxury and accommodation
for the passengers " — which in much the above
terms is advertised to cross the Channel from
Calais to Dover, is nearly ready to start from
the first- mentioned place.
Madame Dawson and Thyrza have trium-
phantly finished with the Custom House officers,
who have found no contraband goods in either
BROWN AS A BERRY. 79
of their trunks^ and they have now gone on deck,
from whence they look on at the animated scene
around them. It is not a bad study for those
in search of character. Numbers of half-pay
officers, persons who^ owing to " circumstances
over which they have no control/^ are obliged to
reside abroad, seedy individuals who live by
their wits, flash men who make money on the
principle of the celebrated apophthegm, " Surely
those with plenty of money and no brains was
made for them with plenty brains and no
money ,^^ lounge lazily on the quay, bent on
nothing in particular, having merely come down
out of curiosity to read the morning paper or
watch the boat go off. Piles of luggage are
being hauled on board, cabs heavily laden drive
frantically up at the last moment, containing
elderly ladies with lap-dogs and bandboxes,
who speedily become a prey to extortionate
porters. Patient paterfamilias, who has been
taking his wife and family abroad on a small
trip, stands, spectacles on nose, counting over
dozens of packages, without which his woman-
kind insisted life and the table d^hote would
have been a howling wilderness and desert unto
them. A young artist, tall, pale, and dark, with
eyes of true southern splendour, very baggy
clothes and a slouch hat^ in which he looks an
80 BROWN AS A BERRY.
embryo brigand, watches a couple of frizzy-
haired girls, who are swearing vows of eternal
fidelity, to be broken within a month. A Bel-
gian family — four brothers, all short, all fat, and
all wearing long chevelure and spectacles, ac-
companied by their two sisters — take possession
of a seat near Madame and Thyrza. They are
going to ''do^^ Scotland; are got up in flaring
tartan, have a notion that nothing is drunk in
Scotland but whisky, nothing eaten but oatcakes
and sheepshead, and haggis. They speak Eng-
lish imperfectly, and their invariable remark
upon the surrounding scenery, pronounced slowly
and with a slight lisp, is, " Very beautiful/' An
elderly lady, with a troop of small children like
so many steps, comes up the companion-ladder
on to the deck, in the. most remote nook of
which two lovers are evidently saying what is to
be a long farewell. They are far too much
occupied with each other to care what people
are thinking about them. A gentleman, in a
light grey overcoat and grey wide-awake hat,
after lingering on the quay to hear the result
of the races, saunters leisurely past Thyrza.
Madame Dawson has hurriedly resumed her veil
and gone down abruptly to the ladies' cabin,
leaving Thyrza alone. Very solitary she looks,
sitting by herself, her long dark hair hanging in
BROWN AS A BERRY. 81
thick tresses below her waist, a sort of dreamy
hunted expression in the soft hazel eyes. She
has on an old plaid cloak that has done duty as
a wrap for Miss Holt during wet weather for
the last dozen years ; originally it was a "Royal
Stuart tartan, but the tints are faded and re-
duced to a wholly indescribable neutral hue, and
the texture is worn and threadbare. Thyrza is
aware of something queer about the brown straw
hat, of a shape quite out of fashion, and a difife-
rence in the make and tout ensemble of her ap-
parel, from that of the be- flounced, be- trimmed,
be-frilled young girls on board. The cotton
gloves that she only wears on Sundays when
going to church at Villios, have been darned
several times at the tips ; and the strong, thick
boots, made by a shoemaker accustomed to the
construction of sabots for the peasantry in Vil-
lios, are admirably adapted for the stiff clay
roads in that neighbournood, which after a
shower of rain are transmogrified into mud,
ankle deep, but not very well fitted for the
respectable, civilized society in which she now
Mr. Terrier contemplates Thyrza's little lonely
figure ; there appears no one to speak to, or take
any interest in her; and, finally, he advances
VOL. I. 6
82 BROWN AS A BERRX".
" Same old story everywhere, Mademoiselle
Thyrza V^ he says, after he has related his ex-
perience of Yillios.
^' How, Monsieur ?' '
" The old, old story, as sentimental people
call it, of spoonifying and humbugging and making
love. Look at that interesting pair who have
just come on board ; they are returning after
the treacle moon. The man looks as if he has
had enough of it. I know I should too with
her. I should not think that beyond dress and
millinery she had two ideas in her head.'^
^' Oh, I thought she was so pretty ! and her
dress is such a charming shade of blue,^'' looking
at her own dingy grey linen.
" Pretty doll, I grant joxx" continues Mr.
Terrier, glancing Thyrza slowly over from the
crown of her brown straw hat until his eyes fix
themselves on a patch that the local shoemaker
has placed conspicuously on the very front of
her boot. She tucks it out of sight as well as
she can under her short dress, which she begins
to think, though convenient for the purpose of
climbing the apple-tree at the pension, or
scrambling up the broken-down wall between
Miss Holt's garden and her friend^ M. Joachim,
the wine merchant next door, might advan-
tageously be a little longer.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 83
" She is pretty now, with the deviFs own
beauty — youth. But by the time she is forty,
what an inane fool she will be ! Poor fellow !
Her husband will have a hard time of it. If he
omits saying something sweet, she will be in a bad
temper — pouting and weeping. I hate a crying
woman. But after one has got to ^ darling ' and
' angel,' what can a fellow say ? The height of
adoration can go no further. There should be a
new dictionary of fresh terms invented for the
benefit of unfortunates undergoing the honey-
moon, for it comes uncommon hard lines on a
fellow to be in a continual state of invention.
It would wear me out.^^
" The object of your pity looks as if he would
manage to survive very well. I should not
think he is much troubled with brains or imagi-
nation. We travelled with him yesterday from
Rougeville to Paris/^ replies Thyrza, laughing at
the recollection of the broad and open com-
pliments Mr. Harris paid Madame Dawson.
Young Mrs. Harris, if she knew it, would pro-
bably hardly smile so sweetly on her handsome,
prosperous husband. " But where can Madame
'' The tall stout person in the green gown 1'*
'* Yes. I am going with her to London. 8 he
is called Madame Dawson.^^
84 BROWN AS A BERRY.
"Thanks for the information. I fancy she
has gone down into the saloon. What makes
her always wear a thick black veil V^
" She did not have it on when we came on
" Did she not ? Oh, she was putting it on in
no end of a hurry when I walked on deck, and
made off down the companion ladder at such a
rate that I thought she must certainly come a
cropper with those fine high-heeled boots of hers/^
" I wish you could have seen her without the
veil ! She is lovely — intensely beautiful."
" What strong adjectives you use — I suppose
schoolgirls always do — ' lovely/ ' charming
et cetera !' Where are you going to ?"
" I want to see why Madame has gone away.
She will perhaps think it rude of me to stay here
and leave her by herself. ^^
^' Never mind what she thinks — what does it
matter ? She is probably sea-sick. Although I
should scarcely think she has had time to feel ill.
Are you a good sailor ?"
" I don^t know. It is twelve years since I
was in a steamer.^^
" You don^t mean to say you remember twelve
years ago \"
'' Weil, not very clearly. But I do in a sort
BROWN AS A BERRY. 85
"Not very distinctly^ I should think. Now
for an affecting farewell. Timers up.^'
Paterfamilias assures his anxious better half
that the thirty odd boxes are safe ; the lovers,
with a tremendous effort, say good-bye.
" Don^t watch the vessel out of sight, or we
shall never meet again,^' she sobs.
'' My own. Good-bye !"
"And youll send me a telegram and write
directly and tell me everything,^^ she says for the
" Now, sir V the Captain interferes.
"Good-bye, darling; remember 9 a.m. I must
go. Good-bye \"
He moves away. She sinks down on the seat,
covers her head in her shawl, and cries like any
" I wonder how many deluded beings have
said the same words, and travelled over the same
well-worn track," remarks Mr. Ferrier.
" But it is all fresh and new to them, poor
things ! I do hope they will meet again," says
Thyrza, with genuine interest.
" I trust you are not going to join your tears
to hers, just out of pure sympathy. Why, you
don't imagine they will be faithful ? The hotter
their supposed affection is, the sooner it will
burn itself out."
86 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" Of course they will/^
" Now, 1^11 tell you exactly what he will do.
He will look at the boat going out of harbour
and feel a little sentimental. Then he will take
out his watch to see how long it will be before
dinner, smoke a pipe^ and think a B.-and-S. not
a bad idea.^'
" What is a B.-and-S. ?'
" A B.-and-S. is a bottle of soda water with
some brandy added to flavour it, and to take off
"the chill. It is convenient to call it B.-and-S.
Brevity is the soul of wit. Now to finish the
proceedings of him. After the B.-and-S., he
will moon about, and, feeling dull in the evening,
will pay a visit to a friend who has some lively
daughters warmly attached to her, with whom
he will amuse himself, merely to keep up his
spirits, with a little flirtation. On the evening
that he does not drop in at his friend^s, he may
patronize the billiard table. On the whole, he
contrives to rub along pretty well. Man is a
sociable animal, and was never meant to dwell in
solitude by himself within four walls.''^
'^ And how about her ?'*
'' She will look disconsolate, as you see her
now, for a few hours ; but a glance at the mirror
will convince her that crying is a bad specula-
tion and will damage her chances. So she
BROWN AS A BERRY. 87
cheers up, sighs occasionally^ talks volumes of
rubbish to her confidante about ' darling ' Blank
for a few days ; is introduced to an eligible ;
makes herself agreeable to him/'
'' I don't believe it."
" After a time he, on the other side of the
Chaonel, receives a short letter, which he stuffs
into the hottest part of the fire. She has deter-
mined to wait no longer, and to go through life
with the eligible.''
" What a shame !"
" Not at all. There are as good fish in the
sea as ever came out of it. She is a sensible
young person not to wait for the chance of —
as he phrases it — something turning up."
" What will become of him .?"
" He laments to his friends how badly he
has been treated ; thinks seriously of the next
world for a short period, and the tailor's account
he ought to square ; discovers his mental misery
does not afflict his appetite nor his digestive
organs ; reflects that his unhappiness will be
lightened if shared ; proposes eventually to some
one who has only just appeared on the scene of
action ; marries her ; meets the first she with
" He ought not to get over it so soon."
'^ Men die of many diseases, but I never knew
88 BROWN AS A BERRY.
of any one who died of love or from a broken
heart. You may depend people are tougher
than that. Time blunts the feelings and recon-
ciles one to everything. Why^ it is beginning to
" Do you think we shall have a bad passage V
" It looks queer and uncertain. In squally
weather the boat is sometimes many hours in
crossing. If you will allow me to arrange my
rug for you, I think I can make you as comfort-
able as you would be below.^^
^' I have nothing on that the rain can hurt/^
replies Thyrza, hesitating to open the rusty
cotton Mrs. Gamp umbrella, filled with holes —
a present from Miss Holt in a fit of extraordinary
generosity at the last moment. Thyrza would
rather be drenched through and through than be
forced to let Mr. Ferrier see these disreputable
holes and rags. She is not ashamed of the
poverty and plainness of her dress, but she is
ashamed of the tattered umbrella.
" True/^ says Mr. Ferrier ; " and you have no
complexion to wash off. But you may catch
" I never catch cold.''-'
" So much the better then/'' unfolding a tiger-
skin rug^ lined with scarlet, w^hich he wraps
round Thyrza, and opening a large white um-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 89
brella lie sits down beside her. There is a stiff
breeze blowing and a heavy swell on the waters;
the boat ploughs her way with difficulty through
the waves ; the spray flies high, washing right
on to the deck ; the wet wind dashes salt racy
tears in Thyrza^s face, rendering her cheeks
rosy like a crimson clove carnation ; her hair
glistens with raindrops, her eyes sparkle with
animation ; she can feel the engines leap be-
neath her as they struggle against a strong sou'-
wester and the wild surf, and she exclaims —
^^ Oh, this is delicious V
" You are not frightened then T*
'' Not a bit. And what splendid waves !
There is a great black-green monster V' as the
steamer sinks in the trough of one billow, then
rises like a bird on the top of the next.
" Thought you would get on to ^ splendid,^
and so forth, sooner or later.''^
" You laugh at me.''
" No ; I was thinking you were a study.
You know I am a disagreeable man. You
thought so ; come, do not deny it. I saw it
plainly written on your countenance in the
billiard-room. I suppose you threw away the
rose out of the diligence window long before
you got to Trois d'Or. Have you any objection
to a cigar ?''
90 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" No ; I think it must be nice to smoke. I
once took a whiff from old Mr. Spindler^s pipe ;
but I thought I should have died^ I was so ill
'^ Ah ! only want the opportunity, not the
will, to be fast. Opportunity is everything.
How neatly you have got out of it about the
Thyrza produces the rose from an envelope in
" I apologize/'' says Mr. Terrier ; ^' I always
make a point of doing so when I am in the
wrong. Now, Mademoiselle, do you think you
can hold the umbrella with both hands for a
minute while I strike a light ? Don't let it blow
overboard ; I have a sincere attachment to this
umbrella, and also to my old wideawake hat.
They have both been with me half over the
Only a few passengers remain on deck, most
of them having gone below ; for the rain is
pouring as though it had never rained since the
Deluge. The wind increases in strength, and
they make but little progress against the com-
bined elements. Owing to these circumstances,
a nervous lady is certain they are all going to
the bottom forthwith, and she is very indignant
with her husband for refusing to remonstrate
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 91
witli tlie Captain. Nothiug will induce her to
quit her husband^s arm, or to believe his assu-
rance there is no danger. The artist stretches
himself at full length on a rug. Wrapped up in a
waterproof mackintosh and hat, he is independent
of the weather, and fraternizes with a burly,
close-shaven priest. A lanky American, fresh
from the prairies of the far West, who has come
to have a look at the little island of Britain,
strides across to Ferrier^s corner and settles
himself near Thyrza.
" Guess it^s going to be a dirty day,^^ he
" I daresay you are right,^^ returns Terrier.
" Been to Paris ? So have L Been taking
out a patent for a new machine, which at the
same time will cut, rake, bind in sheaves, and
thresh. Ah V slapping his knee emphatically,
^' with all your old family and blue blood in
Britain, you can^t buy brains.''''
" No, not in that way. But you can purchase
their service. There is not much you cannot
buy for money, and few circumstances that can-
not, at least, be ameliorated by money. Every-
thing has its price.^^
" Glad to hear you agree with me. Knew
you were a man of sense. Been out of Britain
92 BROWN AS A BERRY.
^^ Bet any odds you like that you are a
Scotcliman. They are as long-headed and
nearly as 'cute as we are. Yes. I told you so.
Would have laid any stakes on it.''
'^ How did you know ?"
" You are so deuced slow and calculating in
your answers. An Englishman always says
plump out yes or no^ without hesitation. A
Scotchman always stops a bit before he speaks
for fear of committing himself; and is so
cautious, you can only screw the whole truth
out of him by a roundabout way. That is the
reason the Scotch never say Amen at the end of
their prayers. They are afraid of committing
themselves to the minister's words."
Mr. Terrier laughs.
" I suppose I may call myself a Scotchman.
My father was a Scotchman, but my mother is
English. When I was at home we lived in
England. And before going to Scotland I shall
run down to the old place for a few days to look
up the old neighbourhood."
" Not resided in Scotland at all ?" asked the
^^ Not yet ; however, I hope soon to see the
land of my ancestors. I feel quite a stranger in
BROWN AS A BERRY. 93
Europe^ as for the last eleven years I have been
" Been in business V
Ferrier nods his head in affirmation.
^'Tidy sort of business to be done there, I
hear. Opium ?"
"There is no opium trade excepting what is
done by smugglers.''^
" Going back V
" Yes ; in the course of a year. I shall re-
turn by the Pacific Railway and San Francisco.
I should have been in England long ago if the
steamer in which I sailed from Shanghai had not
been obliged to put into Bombay for six weeks
while repairs were being made to her engines.''^
" Splendid trip that from New York ! Well/'
his glance falling on Thyrza, " taking your
darter home from school in Paris, I guess.''
Mr. Ferrier and she look at each other, and
burst out laughing simultaneously.
" I must confess. Mademoiselle Thyrza," says
" Rutherfurd/' she suggests.
" Miss Rutherfurd, then. My name is Jack
Ferrier. Well, I must confess I do not see
much resemblance between my handsome visage
and Mademoiselle's. She must be extremely
94 BEOWN AS A BEKEY.
flattered. I daresay I donH look over and
above juvenile/^ taking off his hat and exhibiting
to view a crop of thick black hair, considerably
streaked with grey, " and old enough to be your
father. Only it is rather a joke to be taken for
the head of a family before one has hanged one-
self in the fatal matrimonial noose. How old
are you, Mademoiselle ? Fourteen or fifteen, at
the outside ? You need not be ashamed yet of
telling your age.''^
" I am seventeen past, Monsieur.-'''
" Should not have thought it. You are small
for your time of life ; but probably you will
" Beg pardon, sir/^ says the Yankee. " Had
no idea but that you were the young lady^s
father. Made sure you were taking her from
school. Meant no offence."
Ferrier intimates he understands nothing of
the kind was intended.
" Going down to the cabin V continues the
Yankee ; " can recommend the provisions as par-
Cousin Jonathan departs to obtain somewhat
wherewith to refresh his inner man, saying some-
thing to himself to the effect that there is '^ a
considerable deal of human natur in a man when
he sees a likely girl like that, and he reckons he
BROWN AS A BERRY. 95
has put his foot into it pretty well with that
party /^ Terrier and Thyrza are silent for some
minutes. Then he speaks.
'^ A penny for your thoughts,, Mademoiselle V^
" Will you pay the penny if I tell you V'
" How mercenary you are ! Do not you give
anything for nothing ? Are you mentally com-
paring our supposed resemblance ? You pass
your hand over your chin as though you already
felt the stubble of a beard growing.^"
'^ No, Monsieur. I was not thinking of you
" Of whom, or of what, then V
" I was wondering what Mr. Spindler would
be doing at this time in the pension, and how the
Italian is getting on.^^
*^ I don^t know about Mr. Spindler, but I can
tell you of the lad. Mr. Spindler called upon
me after you had driven off with Madame Dawson
in the diligence. We talked over matters. I
found him a much more rational being than I
'' Poor Mr. Spindler V says Thyrza. '' Cannot
any one be considered to have common sense
unless he has been in business P^-*
"Business is by no means to be despised;
especially if it pays. I don''t say there are not
higher things in the world. That is not the
96 BROWN AS A BERRY.
question/^ returned Terrier. " Well; after a
long consultation, Mr. Spindler and myself got
the boy apprenticed to a tailor in Villios."
" Oh, Monsieur ; how droll ! A tailor of all
people in the world.^'
^' The first thing we did was to have his hair
cut, and a new suit of clothes provided for him.
He was not such a suitable object for a picture
as when he presented himself before the window
of your pension, but he has a chance of being
immeasurably better than artistic — a well-behaved
member of society. On the whole it was a good
thing he happened to fall and cut his head.
Are you hungry ?'
" Desperately/' says Thyrza, concisely.
"So am I. Shall we follow our Brother
Jonathan's example, and discover what sort of
sustenance is provided for the wayfarer V
" I daresay Madame Dawson will be glad to
• " Madame Dawson ? I think somehow I've
seen that woman before. Are you going to live
with her in London ?"
" No. I am only travelling with her. I go
on to-morrow morning to a place called Lillies-
hiU, in Kilniddry shire, in Scotland."
" Lillieshill ! Why, who the deuce do you
know there ?"
BROWN AS A BERRY. 97
" I don^t know any one — I wisli I did. At
leasts I have seen Mr. Mark. But one does not
remember mucli at the advanced age of five
" Mark ? Why !" exclaims Ferrier^ looking
" I am going to Lillieshill by Mr. Mark^s
own special invitation/'' replies Thyrza. '^ Are
you Mr. Mark V
" No, of course not. Did I not tell you my
name was Terrier ? But I see it now. You
are the little girl whose father and mother died
at Shanghai^ and whom Mark has been looking
^'^ Yes/' Thyrza answers, " you are right.
But how do you know Mr. Mark ?" she asks in
" Mark is the greatest friend I have. We
were in partnership in Shanghai. He has given
up business now, and come home for altogether.
I have got a new partner, a fellow called Lennox.
But the idea of Mark being guardian to a girl
like you !"
"He is not my guardian."
" Well, well ; comes to the same thing in the
end. He acts the part without the name."
" I suppose Mr. Mark is a benevolent stout
man, rather bald^ and not tall?"
VOL. I. 7
98 BROWN AS A BERRY.
^^ Mark would be pleased to hear your opinion.
However, you will see him for yourself this time
" ]\J y ideas are most probably all wrong/' says
Thyrza. '' Madame ''
" Oh, hang Madame V breaks in Ferrier.
" Excuse me, Mademoiselle ; that slipped out un-
awares. I have been living for the last five
years up the Yang-tse-Kiang, about a hundred
and fifty miles from Shanghai, and have scarcely
spoken to a woman during that time, so I am
afraid my manners have deserted me. Depend
upon it, Madame has never given you a thought.
She has hung up that marvellous yellow hair to
save it from being crushed, and is at this
moment l}ing flat upon her back in her berth as
ill as possible, and groaning in despair. Odd !
I can^t get it out of my head, there is something
familiar about her."'
" You cannot have seen her before. She is
an Andalusian, and married an English artist.
She lived, until last year, in a flat in the Quartier
Latin, when her husband died just as he came
into an immense fortune.'^
" Queer,'' says Mr. Terrier, doubtfully.
^^ When did you first see her ?"
" We were introduced in the diligence at
BROWN AS A BERRY. 99
" And she told you her history at once^ with-
out knowing anything about you/^
'' Yes, she did."
" Hum ! Well, there are the white cliffs of
Dover. We shall be in directly. What a
shower ! Are you very wet ? Steady, donH be
afraid. Let us get into the saloon."
Mr. Ferrier is greeted by the Yankee^ who
looks approvingly at Thyrza. She passes on to
the ladies' cabin, where Madame is sitting, no
trace of sea-sickness about her.
'^ What a sly little puss you are V says she.
" That is generally the case with you demure
demoiselles. You have been sitting on deck
this long while with the stiff Englishman, and
forgot about poor me alone here without a friend
to speak to."
" Oh, no, Madame ; indeed I did not."
" And what did you talk about ? Ah, you
never spoke of mef'
"Various subjects, and you among the rest.
Mr. Ferrier" — Thyrza may be mistaken, but she
cannot refrain from thinking Madame starts
slightly and that the rose in her wax-like cheek
fades — "Mr. Ferrier wondered why you always
wore a black veil."
" It would not be proper for a desolate widow
to travel without some sort of protection."
100 BROWN AS A BERRY.
At this juncture the steward is heard an-
nouncing something in a loud voice in the saloon.
" We are just in/^ says Madame. She pins
the black veil over her bonnet^ and with the rest
of the passengers hurries up on deck. The good
ship steams along straight as an arrow shot from
a tough ash bow over the swelling waves and
tremendous surf. The white cliffs, crowned by
the castle and fair green daisy-covered slopes,
lying against a blue sky, come nearer. The
rain has now ceased, and a rainbow stretches its
arch of three colours across the sky, and Ferrier's
lean bronzed face and keen eyes soften as if some
strong emotion passed over them. Then come
the crowd of cabbies and green-coated porters,
and the sound of the familiar English tongue,
and a Cockney pronouncing it is a warm day.
The Yankee consoles a doleful and sea-sick
fellow-traveller, whom he assists to land, with —
^^ You should not have taken so much whisky
to-day ; I knew how it would be. You should
fight against it, and resolve not to be sick, and
make up your mind to keep well. It only wants
An original, if not a feasible idea. If one
could remain in good health by merely willing
it, there would be no employment for doctors,
and, like the Wandering Jew, one might live on
BROWN AS A BERRY. 101
for ever. It may be recommended, however, as
a new and cheap cure for sea- sickness which
" You had better telegraph to let Mark know
you have got all right to England/' says Ferrier,
when they have landed and are waiting for the
important arrival of the boxes from the hold.
" Or shall I send the telegram for you ?"
Thyrza gratefully accepts his offer. Madame
has put up a parasol and turned her back upon
Ferrier. Thyrza observes him giving sundry
quick looks at her^ but they must be very
piercing indeed if they penetrate through the
thickness of the shady veil and parasol. Madame
^' I am sorry I cannot travel down with you,
Mademoiselle/' pursues Ferrier ; " but I shall be
at Carmylie — that is, near Lillieshill — the end
of next week. Tell Mark both I and his flask
will put in an appearance then.''
N old house^ built of red sandstone^ half en-
shrined in ivy, with muliions and many
nooks and corners, and overhanging eaves, and
odd staircases leading nowhere in particular — a
quaint house, to which the fancies of several
generations of owners of different tastes have
added a wing in one part, an entrance in another,
blocking up doors and opening out windows in
all manner of strange and unexpected places — a
house which, in every sense of the words, shows
traces of being lived in and cared for. This is
Lillieshill. Like most old houses, it lies low,
and is built on a flat piece of ground entirely
shut in by trees. Near the house is located a
thriving colony of rooks that are just now
winging their way to their nests from a turnip-
field, after a friendly discussion on things in
general and grubs and worms in especial.
Through an opening in the trees, above a
BROWN AS A BERRY. 103
artificial cascade falling into a pond with a
miniature island in the centre;, glimpses of rugged
purple mountain peaks are visible, dappled with
tender lights and shades melting into soft,
pearly distance ; inky, indigo masses of pine
forests embracing their feet ; brown peat-tinged
burns winding among the upland fields, winking
gold in the sun ; and green larches, their little
scarlet tassel cones beginning to turn into dun
Lillieshill is always pretty. In early spring,
when the wind stirs the budding beech leaves
putting their heads out of their ruddy shells ;
in summer, when they are interlacing their
polished silver arms loaded with shimmering
green foliage ; in autumn, when the branches are
decked with scarlet and yellow, turned into
rubies by the shifting sunlight, and the red
squirrels lay up stores of the russet beech mast ;
or in wmter, when the powdered driven snow
spreads its white garment on the earth — Lillieshill
is always fair, but perhaps never fairer than as
now, at the hour of sundown on an evening in May.
On the lawn, near the front door, is a group
of three persons — a lady and two gentlemen.
They are absorbed in the useful occupation of
killing time, and are evidently expecting some
one. Place aux dames.
104 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Miss Lefroy is about fifty years of age^ thin,
wrinkled, and decidedly plain. No one in the
pleasant, though now remote days of her youth,
had ever called Miss Lefroy other than very mode-
rately good-looking. Matrimonially speaking, she
has been a failure. In other words, she is an old
maid. She is not ashamed of the name, and is on
the whole not discontented with her condition —
i.e., having plenty of money and little to employ
her time. In spite of a certain stiffness and
reserve in her manner, she is warmhearted and
charitable, as the poor round Lillieshill and in
the town of Queensmuir will testify. As her
own hopes regarding herself have not come to
fruition, Miss Lefroy hopes much for Mark. A
woman, as a rule, must hope, if not for herself,
for some one else. What she trusted would have
been her own destiny she trusts will be realized
in her favourite nephew, Mark. She is an
accomplished linguist, and an earnest reader of
the ^' Antiquity of Man,^^ and puzzles her brain
with "The Origin of Species," the cosmic
vapour, and other abstruse subjects ; but no one
meeting her in society would guess that her
abilities were above the ordinary run. Although
an old maid, she has not imbibed the Woman^s
Rights mania, nor has she arrived at the pitch of
spelling that word witli a capital letter ; neither
BROWN AS A BERRY. 105
has she the least desire to expatiate on a platform
in public, under the impression she is born to set
the world as it ought to be, and remedy the
grievances of society. In Mr. Lefroy she has
great faith. She believes with him that he is
the handsomest as well as the most talented and
most fascinating of men, which says a good deal
for both brother and sister, a prophet not being
without honour save in his own country.
Miss Lefroy^s opinion of her brother is
scarcely shared by Luke Mark, a youug man of
two or three and thirty, lately returned from
China. He often finds Mr. Lefroy prosy and dull,
especially as he does not take the same interest
in prize cattle and old china and model cow-
houses and dairies as Mr. Lefroy does. In appear-
ance, Luke Mark is much what he was as a boy.
He has blue eyes, fair hair, and a hooked nose,
and he wears a blonde moustache. He is about
five feet eight and a half in height, and there is
an inexpressible air of neatness and dapperness
about his whole outer man.
Mr. and Miss Lefroy wish their nephew to
marry. They are the sole survivors of a large
family, and the next heir after Mark is a
shopkeeper in the West End of London, who,
being poor in his early days, had been glad to
put his pride in his pocket, and work as a
106 BROWN AS A BERRr.
shopboy until better times came. These better
times, as far as money was concerned, have
already come round, and still more prosperous
ones are in store for him, if Mark remains
unmarried. The notion of a man who had
worn a white apron and stood behind a counter
becoming the possessor of Lillieshill, its curiosi-
ties, its fat lands, its superb cattle, its splendid
hothouses and appurtenances, is not pleasing to
the Lefroys. Mr. Lefroy feels that if such comes
to pass, he will not be able to lie peacefully in
his grave. Such a man could not possibly
appreciate the merits of old Dresden and Sevres j
and as for the precious cattle, the apple of his
eye and the joy of his soul, the only charm
the next heir would see in them would be their
capability of being converted into beef and money.
This is an agonizing idea to their affectionate
So Mr. and Miss Lefroy, with the knowledge
they cannot live for ever, and must, some time or
other, quit Lillieshill for the narrow resting-
place in their family burial ground at Queensmuir,
earnestly desire that Mark should marry.
As for Mr. Lefroy, he is a very particular
and fussy elderly man with the relics of former
good looks still remaining. He carries his pecu-
liarities to such an extent, that he has door-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 107
mats for ornaments in the hall, and others
which are intended to serve their normal purpose
of removing the mud from the boots or shoes
of visitors, and special stands for sticks ; also,
separate ones for umbrellas. In winter, he
carefully airs his hat and gloves before the stove
fire, to prevent all danger of catching cold.
Everything about Lillieshill is sure to be ^'^his
own idea,^' or else ^' his own invention,^^ and
everything belonging to him is the finest of its
kind. When he gets into the next world, he
will miss his turtle-soup and his prize cattle,
unless some very material change comes to his
feelings before then.
" By-the-bye, when do the people come to
dinner ?^^ asks Mark.
" Half-past seven,^^ returns Miss Lefroy.
" Any one worth speaking to T'
" Mrs. Ferrier from Carmylie, your partner^s
mother, and her married daughter, Mrs. Napier.
Husband a Captain in the Rifle Brigade in India^
But you know all about them, as you have seen
'' The MacNabs from Quentinshope/'
" Who are they ?'
" Rich retired jute merchants.^''
" Oh V
108 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" My dear fellow^ they are as rich as Croesus —
could eat gold if they liked/^ breaks in Mr. Lefroy.
^' I daresay. Usual style of thing, I suppose.
Rose from being a shoeblack, or something of
the kind, with sixpence in his pocket. ''^
" No ; MacNab was not a shoeblack,^^ re-
sponds Mr. Lefroy. '' His father was a weaver
and his mother a cook. MacNab himself began
life as a clerk, and fortune favoured him. He
has had a capital education, and is a shrewd,
" I don't doubt it.''
^' It is useless to ignore these sort of people,
Luke, for there the fact is. They are the great
power of the age. MacNab is a good sort of
fellow; he behaves himself; he does not talk
shop. If you had not been told you would
never have guessed his mother was a cook.
And a very excellent cook too," proceeds Mr.
Lefroy, rubbing his hands ; " I remember her
perfectly well at Carmylie, many years ago now,
when the Campbells owned the place."
" From whom the Ferriers bought it."
" Yes ; the Campbells went to smash, and
old Ferrier bought the place dirt cheap. Bless
me ! People don't ask how did you make your
money ? It is, how much has he got ? Or, has
he got any at all?"
BROWN AS A BERRY. 109
'^ Well^ now for the elegant Frencli girl/^
says Luke Mark. " (irecian bend, Roman fall,
and two or three pounds'* worth of hair that
grew on somebody else's head.''
" I hope she does not wear nails in her
boots/' rejoins Mr, Lefroy, reflectively. " I should
not like to have the new oak in the library
" She must stay at least three weeks, I
suppose/' sighs Miss Lefroy . '' Whatever shall
we do with a fashionable young lady at Lillies-
hill; and more especially one accustomed to live
in a town ? She is your visitor, Luke, not
mine ; so you must look after her. There are
the horses, at any rate; so you can ride and
drive with her, and we may get up a pic-nic
" Perhaps she takes an interest in cattle or
old china. If so, there will be always the
model cowhouse aud the old Dresden for her
to amuse herself with/' says Mr. Lefroy. " Oh !
sweet effect there !" pointing to a gleam of sun-
shine stealing through the russet-hued beech
buds from which the green leaves are bursting,
and the long drooping branches that touch the
" There she is !" cries Miss Lefroy, as a
carriage drives along the gravel sweep to the house.
110 BROWN AS A BERRY.
It does not enter into Thyrza^s head to wait
nntil she is assisted to descend. Directly the
carriage stops she springs out to the gravel walk,
to the astonishment of the stately footman,
who announces that Mr. and Miss Lefroy and
Mr. Mark are at home in a voice of displeasure
at her unconventional proceedings.
Mark and his uncle and aunt are so amazed
at the advent of the childish figure dressed in
such odd, clumsy clothes, that at first they think
there must be some mistake, and remain silent,
until at last Mark gives vent to a lengthy
" Whe-ew V
Thyrza walks forward to meet them, ignorant
of their feelings of astonishment. Her hat -string
has broken on the journey, and it has fallen off
in leaving the carriage. She picks it up and
comes along with it in her hand, through the
bright sunshine, her hair blowing about over her
" Please, I have not come to the wrong house,
have I ?" she asks, terrified at no one speaking,
and clutching nervously to the Mrs. Gamp
umbrella, which has clung faithfully to her
during all her travels. No one ever loses an
old gingham. It is always a nice new dapper
silk one that evaporates and is never heard of
again. " Please, I^m Thyrza Rutherfurd.^^
BROWN AS A BERRY. Ill
'' To be sure V exclaims Mark^ heartily.
" Welcorae to Lillieshill, Miss Rutherfurd. Glad
you have found your way safely. Troublesome
long journey. I hear you met my friend Ferrier ;
I had a note from him this morning telling me
" You must be very tired^ dear/^ says Miss
Lefroy^ her mind infinitely relieved from the idea
of the Girl of the Period she imagined she would
be cooped up with for several weeks ; and her heart
goes out to the pale and somewhat weary face.
" A little^ thank you/^ replies Thyrza, with a
strong French accent.
" We expected a regular boarding-school young
lady/^ pursues Mark, in explanation of his hesita-
tion in welcoming her, which has clearly left a
painful impression on her mind ; " it is a long
time since you and I met_, so you must excuse
me if at first I did not quite remember your
"You are Mr. Mark ?^' she inquires.
"Yes; at least I believe so. I trust no
claimant will arrive to assert he is Luke Mark,
and that I am somebody else.^''
" Then it is you who are my benefactor/' she
replies. "I give you my best thanks for all
your kindness to me.''
She says it as if instructed what words to use,
112 BROWN AS A BERRY.
and her manner puts Mark on his most courteous
" I am well repaid,, Miss Rutherfurd^ by having
the pleasure of seeing you here to-day/^ he an-
" How did you manage about changing for
Queensmuir at Bogdrum Junction T' asks Mr.
Lefroy. " I hope you had no trouble about your
'^ Is that the place where a man calls out sud-
denly, ' Change hee-ar for Queensmuir/ just as
if some one had run a pin into him T' she
rejoins, with a merry laugh, which does away in
great measure with any further formality.
" I suppose it must have been.''''
" Well, I asked for my box there, and the
man with the abrupt squeaky voice said it was
not in the van. So I have lost it.''"'
" Lost it ? — how unfortunate ! Some people
are coming to dinner, too, to-night. How will
you manage without an evening dress V
" Oh, I had no evening dresses in it, so it does
" Was it directed ?'
" No, I don't think it was.''
" Dear me, dear me ! — very provoking, to be
sure, for you ! Most annoying — particularly so.
Ought to telegraph at once to the station-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 113
master at Queensmuir. Case of gross neglect —
culpable neglect of duty. Shall kick up a pretty
row, and get some one punished/'' says Mr.
Lefroy, beginning to walk up and down the lawn
as if violently agitated.
" Was it labelled for Queensmuir ?" asks
*' La— belled?^'
" Had it a pink or blue luggage-ticket put on
it at King^s Cross T'
" I do not know. There was such a crowd at
the station,, and everybody did seem in such a
hurry I never saw it after it was taken from the
" The chances are you will never see it again/''
returns Mark, consolingly. ^^ As to kicking up
a shindy with the Company, that''s no use.
You\e no claim against them unless it was pro-
perly labelled and directed."
'' Miss Rutherfurd, will you come into the
drawing-room^ and have a cup of tea?" says
Miss Lefroy, with a smile ; '^ then you can rest
a little before dinner.''^
" Oh yes, I should like that, for I am so hot
and sticky and uncomfortable. You see I have
had so many misfortunes, and broken the string
of my hat, and lost my gloves^ besides my box/^
answers Thyrza, cordially.
VOL. I. 8
114 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" Purvisj bring some tea/^ to tlie tall footman.
" Sit down on the sofa^ dear.^^
Thyrza leans back luxuriously, while Miss
Lefroy laments the loss of the box. Such a
deliciously cool room it is, furnished with walnut-
wood and hangings of different shades of green
from palest sea-green to the darkest moss-tint.
A scent as of pot pourri, or dried violets, lingers
in its recesses. The walls are hung with pic-
tures by various choice masters both ancient and
modern; the corners filled with cabinets inlaid
with gold and porcelain of great antiquity.
A conservatory, separated from the drawing-
room by a glass door, discloses arcades of the
clinging festoons of the Virginia creeper, which
will shortly be out in profusion; New Zealand
ferns and small palm trees stand in large tubs in
rows up and down.
Tea appears presently on a tiny round tray.
Thyrza helps herself, and pours out cream from a
stumpy crystal jug, studded over with little knobs
of green and ruby.
^' What a pretty place \" exclaims Thyrza,
attacking the thin slices of home-made bread
and butter with relish. " If only 1 had not lost
my box, I should be quite happy .''^
'^ Mr. Lefroy will see about it for you to-
morrow. I am afraid nothing can be done
BROWN AS A BERRY. 115
to-day. Poor child ! — I am so sorry for it/'
rejoins Miss Lefroy. " I know what it is to
arrive at a strange place without any of my
Miss Lefroy's fingers long to smooth Thyrza's
rough hair^ and pin her collar straight for her.
Thyrza^s collars had always a knack of slipping
towards the back of her neck, and her hats
a strong inclination to remain in any position
rather than in the proper one of straight on the
top of her head. If a briar, or nail, or loose
screw were anywhere at hand, her dress or petti-
coat never missed an opportunity of getting
entangled, usually to its great and grievous
detriment. Uncared for, with no one to mind
whether she looked well or ill at the pension^ she
has grown up without any of the little arts and
small vanities which most girls employ to embel-
lish their persons. Continually told she was plain
and ugly, she has hitherto thought it useless to
take pains in adorning herself. Not that she
has not thought about her appearance. Like
the majority of girls, one of the dearest desires
of her heart is to be pretty ; and with the con-
viction of her own defects, she has an ardent
admiration for the beautiful.
" I am afraid you must think T am a dreadfully
untidy girl," says Thyrza, rising, and looking at
116 BROWN AS A BERRY.
herself in one of the numerous mirrors. " "What
a guy I am^ and what a number of smuts have
settled on the end of my nose V'
'' People do look a little untidy after a long
journey/^ returns Miss Lefroy, evasively.
" But^ really, I am sometimes neat, though, in
general, I am not a very tidy person.^^
"We must try to find some kind of a gown
for you, my dear,^^ pursues Miss Lefroy, taking
Thyrza upstairs. " Luke brought a large box
home from China with him, in which very likely
we may discover a dress that will fit you."
She produces a bunch of keys, and after a con-
siderable amount of fiddling and hackling at the
lock with every key on the bunch before finding
the right one, opens a big chest, on which are
the initials " T. K/'' in brass-headed nails.
On the top lie sundry Chinese curiosities of
wonderful embroidery on scarlet and black cloth,
a bag filled with the ordinary coin of the Celes-
tials, heavy and inconvenient as to size and weight ;
a collection of beautifully- carved ivory idols and
odd figures engaged in wrestling, and specimens
of the red, white, and yellow balls worn by the
different grades of Mandarins. Below are dresses
of a fashion long since out of date, skimpy in
the skirts, and peculiar about the body and
sleeves. There is nothing that Thyrza can wear.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 117
^^ Oil;, who is this ?" she cries abruptly, pulling
out a water-colour sketch of a womaii^s head,
painted on a rough piece of sketching-paper.
" I have not the slightest idea/"* says Miss
Lefroy ; ^' I daresay Luke knows. But most pro-
bably it is merely a fancy head. Put it into one
of these drawers, and then you will find it when
you want it again. ^ A place for everything and
everything in its place' is a valuable maxim.
Come to my room, and we will see if any of my
gowns could be converted into a garment for you.
No, I fear not.-*^
Rumbles of carriage-wheels are now audible
on the sweep, and young ladies with fans and
opera-cloaks begin to alight.
" What shall we do ?'^ exclaims Miss Lefroy.
" There is no gown that will fit you. Ah ! I
She turns in the collar of Thyrza^s little grey
linen dress, pins broad, rich white lace round the
opening, fastens black velvet and a pearl brooch
at her throat, combs her thick hair back from her
forehead, tying it with red ribbons ; and taking
a spray of scarlet geraniums and maiden-hair fern
from a vase, places it on one side of her head.
^^ What do you think of yourself now ?'' she
Oh, how nice I look ! Really just like other
118 BROWN AS A BERRY.
people. Thank you ever so much/^ throwing her
arms round Miss Lefroy^'s neck, not to the benefit
of the neat arrangement of her cap. She is not
accustomed to being embraced — indeed very few
persons would have had the hardihood even to
dream of embracing her — and she is, in conse-
quence, surprised and a little taken aback at
Thyrza^s open expression of pleasure.
'' I say \" exclaims a voice outside Miss Lefroy^s
" Yes, Richard.''
'' I say, Fan/'
^^Yes, Richard,'' responds Miss Lefroy, going
to the door, and opening it.
" What ! — are not you dressed yet ? Nearly
everybody has come, and cook has sent word that
if she does not dish up at once the dinner will be
spoilt ; and after the trouble I have taken about
arranging the menu, that would be very disap-
pointing. It might give me a fit of indigestion,
and probably — most probably — would cause me a
" I will be as quick as I can," returns Miss
Lefroy. " Miss Rutherfurd, would not you like
to go down with Mr. Lefroy?"
" Oh no, thank you," says Thyrza. " I had
rather wait for you."
" My maid has gone for her holiday just now,"
BROWN AS A BERRY. 119
proceeds Miss Lefroy, putting on a violet-silk
gown and a cap to match, with violets and white
marabout feathers. " Here is my dressing-case,
dear. Will you choose some rings or bracelets
for me ? I am so pleased I have managed so
nicely about your frock. I know girls think so
much about their appearance, I used also when
I was your age. Let me see : you want a sash
yet, and a pair of lace sleeves to finish you. Did
not Miss Holt give you enough to eat ? You are
not very fat."
" Oh yes : Miss Holt was not quite so bad as
all that. We had always plenty of food.^"'
" I never was at school myself — horrid places,
I think. Invariably, some black sheep there.
About gloves : you ought to have a pair — these
are rather soiled. ''^
" I can carry them in my hand to show I have
some,^' says Thyrza — a bright idea striking her.
She holds up for Miss Lefroy's selection a big
emerald, like a lump of green fire, on a band of
gold withoat any of the metal round the stone,
and a hoop of coral and brilliants.
'* Very well, dear," answers Miss Lefroy,
drawing on the rings, and settling her spectacles
on her nose.
They go down to the drawing-room, and after
a few remarks upon the inexhaustible and pre-
120 BROWN AS A BERRY.
vailing topic of the weather^ the guests pair off
into dinner, Thyrza falling to the lot of a very
tall young man, blessed with a prodigious opinion
of himself and a wide expanse of shirt-front. He
is the eldest hope of the MacNab family; and
will, on the decease of his father,, inherit an
immense fortune. In course of time he intends
marrying^ but not one of the Kilniddryshire girls.
They are not fine enough for him. Nothing
under an Earl's daughter will suit the heir of
Quentinshope. He lives in daily apprehension
of some one '' hooking him/*' and regards the
majority of women as so many mantraps set to
ensnare his valuable self.
At first he seems inclined to be friendly with
Thyrza, and imagining she is of French extraction
from her foreign accent and appearance^ he tries
to air his French ; but observing a twinkle of fun
in her eyes on his saying something about " avec
tres beaucoup distingue plaisir/' which answer
of his to a question of Thyrza's unfortunately
occurs at one of those dead silences which some-
times happen in the conversation at a party, he
abandons any further attempts at talking for the
more substantial delights of the table.
The dinner and its appointments are perfect.
Mr. Lefroy devotes most of his spare time to the
study of the science of cookery^ which he regards
BROWN AS A BERRY. 121
as an art. '^ God sends good food^^ is a favourite
quotation of his, '^ but the devil makes the cooks/'
What he is going to have for dinner is his first
thought in the morning; how it will turn out
oppresses him towards evening, and when the
suspense is over, and he finds the fish boiled to
the requisite firmness, he subsides into a condition
of placid good temper. The certain way to get
on with Mr. Lefroy is to flatter him. Carping
critics of John Stuart MilFs life have declared the
reason he idolized his wife and entertained so
high an opinion of her intellect, was because she
knew how to flatter his weak points. One very
weak point of Mr. Lefroy's is his great capacity
for swallowing any amount of flattery, no matter
how gross and palpable ; and any one aware of
this quality might lead him very easily.
He has taken some trouble iu arranging the
party, which consists of himself, Miss Lefroy,
Thyrza, Luke Mark, Mr. and Mrs. MacNab of
Quentinshope, Archibald MacNab younger, and
his two sisters, Lola and Jane — tall, dashing
girls, with freckled complexions and pale hair ;
Mrs. Napier, known as the White Witch in her
husband's regiment ; Mr. Dods, the minister of
Carmylie fishing village ; Mr. Hislop, the bank
agent for the British Jute Company in Queens-
muir^ the neighbouring post town ; and Lord and
122 BKOWN AS A BERRY.
Lady George Bogg, an old married couple, who,
during forty years of wedded life, have grown
singularly like each other, the only apparent
diflPerence being that Lord George has a beard,
and wears a coat and trousers, and Lady George
has no beard, and is dressed in ordinary woman^s
guise. The whole party are comfortably accom-
modated at one of those pleasant round tables
where you are not separated from your opposite
neighbour by a desert of tablecloth, but may
converse with him or her, as the case may be,
without requiring to raise your voice to an
Dinners by daylight are never so successful as
those by gas or candlelight. The sun is not
merciful to faded complexions, and exposes any
attempt to " make up" with unsparing severity.
The ladies' jewels do not sparkle properly, and
even Lady George^s diamond necklace, and the
star in the false plait over her wrinkled forehead,
lose half their brilliancy. Neither does the
silver and crystal on the table look so bright as
it does in the winter evenings when the shutters
are closed, the crimson curtains drawn across the
French windows, a fire burns on the old-fashioned
brass dogs, that have not been abolished from
Lillieshill, and a good lamp sheds its soft light
over the gilt picture-frames and the pretty gowns
BROWN AS A BERRY. 123
of the guests. Conversation does not flow so
freely either. Bon mots and jeux d 'esprit sound
poor ; it is, in fact, like talking sentiment at
breakfast in the glare of broad daylight. Then
one feels rather guilty at devoting so much time
to dining when without all is so fresh and sweet,
and that most charming hour of the summer
day, the twilight, comes on. When the sun has
set, and there is that momentary hush and still-
ness in the air just before night fairly falls, and
a bird chirps to its mate among the ivy at
Lillieshill, one wishes to stroll out through the
rose-garden, and loiter a little in the long avenue
of stately lime-trees, instead of sitting down to a
Mr. Lefroy infinitely prefers dining by candle-
light, but Miss Lefroy has persuaded him not to
exclude the day. So the sun is permitted to
shine its last rays through the beeches into the
dining-room, and although it does not set off
Lady George^s diamonds to their usual advan-
tage, it would be hard to find fault with the
golden beams that trickle over the tree-tops and
settle on Mrs. Napier's fair hair. Nor indeed
could much objection be found with the view of
mountains, woods, fields, and the mossy lawn,
the last mentioned one of the prides and beauties
124 BROWN AS A BERRY.
^' Nothing in the papers at present^ excepting
the usual aniount of accidents and the wonderful
Tichborne trial/'' observes Luke Mark.
" There never is at this time of year ; the
chief j^lace is occupied with the proceedings of
Parliament/'' replies the elder Mr. MacNab.
" How are your turnips looking^ Mr. Lefroy ?"
" Oh^ pretty well. We shall want rain before
long. I am going to try a new kind of top-
dressing of my own invention^ on some fields on
the Home Farm.^'
" How beautifully green the fields are about
Lillieshill/' says Lola MacNab.
"The result of irrigation on a plan of my
own. If you want a thing done well, do it
" As Punch said when the master of the
house got up shivering at 4 a.m. on a cold
winter's morning to let in the chimney-sweep.
Poor John Leech ! how inimitably he drew/'
" Have you been long in this part of the
globe ?'"' asks the minister, Thyrza's other neigh-
" No, I only came to Lillieshill to-day.^'
'^ She lost her luggage at Bogdrum/^ adds
" Ought to have your initials painted on your
BROWN AS A BERRY. 125
boxes/^ breaks in Mr. Lefroy ; " I have mine —
idea of my own. Initial Jj, as long as tbis,
painted on black ground^, known all over Scot-
land. See it even on the darkest nigbt in that
condemned criminal's cell at tbe Waverley Sta-
tion, where you are forced to rout out your
luggage on the way from the South. Scandalous
shame, scandalous ! Capital of Scotland, too.
Never trust to railway guards — humbugs, delu-
sions. Look after it yourself. Have particular
covers or marks by which they can be identified,
and take off the old labels when you get home,
in case of mistake.''''
" There are wonderfully few cases of lost
luggage, if you consider the enormous quantity
of traffic and how hard-worked the servants of
the Company are/' says the minister.
" Partridges are likely to be scarce and small.
The immense amount of rain we have had did
them a great deal of harm.''
" What sort of condition are the rivers in,
Mr. Dods ? You are the angler par excellence
of this district."
" I have not been able to do much yet, the
waters have been so muddy and swollen with the
late heavy rains. But when the May fly is on
the Bogg I anticipate some fair sport."
" Fishing always seems to me a cowardly and
126 BROWN AS A BERRY,
cruel sport/^ says Lola MacNab ; ^^ fancy a great
big man spending hours in enticing a poor little
fish out of the water. There it lies with the
hook in its mouth panting with pain."
" Pish were made to be eaten, Miss MacNab/"*
remarks Mr. Lefroy, solemnly ; " besides, they
are cold-blooded creatures, and do not feel
^^ Indeed, Miss MacNab, I must own I have
sometimes felt rather guilty, too, when I saw the
trout lying on the bank looking up at me with
its fine black eyes almost reproachfully. But as
Mr. Lefroy says, they are intended to be eaten,
and they have always a fair chance of escape.
They need not bite unless they like."
This is the first dinner party at which Thyrza
had ever been present. As time goes on, and
course after course is removed, and entree after
entree arrives and is handed round by the foot-
men, seeing no dishes on the table she becomes
a good deal surprised. She waits patiently for
the beef to appear and be placed on the table,
but minutes elapse and still nothing comes, and
the flowers and fruit alone ornament Mr. Lefroy's
^' Where is the rest of the dinner ?" she at
last inquires of the minister. " I don^t see it in
BROWN AS A BERRY. 127
'^ We-el, Miss Rutherfurd/^ he rejoins, en-
deavouring unsuccessfully to modulate the loud,
distinct tones of his voice^ grown sonorous and
bass from long practice in addressing sleepy con-
gregations in the kirk at the fishing village,
" we-el, it's on the side table, and this is called
the diner h la Russe. I am exactly of your
opinion in this respect, and like to see what I am
eating. The diner a la Russe is very well if you
are not hungry, for what with talking, and the
constant changing of the plates, one does not get
much to eat at a dinner party /^
" Oh, do you think so ?" answers Archie
MacNab, having overheard the minister's obser-
vation, and speaking much in the tone in which
the London swell, on hearing a country cousin
had committed the enormity of eating mustard
with mutton, exclaimed, " Did the fellow die ?'^
" I never like to see a lady hewing away at a
couple of tough chickens or a huge joint of
underdone beef — there is something very re-
volting in the idea.''
'* Ice, Miss ?" inquires the footman of Thyrza.
Slightly confused, she inadvertently places the
useful cooling article intended for her champagne
on her plate beside a rissole, which, being hot,
presently melts it into a small pool of water.
By this time she has recovered herself, and grows
128 BROWN AS A BERRY.
uncomfortably hot on perceiving her mistake.
She hopes no one has observed it, but Archie
MacNab calls out for the ice to be brought back
and insists on putting it himself into her wine-
glass. It has the effect of rendering Thyrza
silent until the ladies leave the dining-room.
^' Have you been attending the Parochial
Board in Queensmuir lately^ Mr. Lefroy V asks
" Not for the last two months/^ rejoins Mr.
Lefroy. ^'^Perfect bear-garden, perfect bear-garden.
The last time I was there I gave those presump-
tuous, conceited fellows a bit of my mind, I can
tell you. They are none the worse for being
sworn at a little. In fact, without that they
would argue you out of your Christian name. /
soon said what / meant.'^
Just as Thyrza is speculating how much longer
they will be at dinner — by the timepiece on the
mantelpiece they have already been more than
two hours and a half in the dining-room — Miss
Lefroy gives a mysterious glance to the ladies^ on
which they rise in a body; silks, satins, and
muslins rustle into the passage, leaving the lords
of creation to their walnuts and wine.
The farewell flounce is scarcely conveyed in
safety through the doorway, when Miss Lefroy
begins to discuss the educational statistics of
BROWN AS A BERRY. 129
Scotland with Mrs. MacNab. Lady George is
too deaf to hear without her ear-trumpet, so rests
content in a large armchair, and allows her
dinner to digest. The educational statistics of
Scotland and the School Board have no attractions
for Mrs. MacNab. What she likes is to relate
all the peccadilloes and misdoings of her ser-
vants during the last ten years, and to hear what
wages are given by Mr. Lefroy and Lord George.
Any other equally interesting domestic particulars
are received by her with much relish. As for
Lola and Jane MacNab, they are compelled to
take refuge in looking over a number of pictures
of Chinese scenery, brought home from Shanghai
by Luke Mark. No man being in the room,
Mrs. Napier does not trouble herself to open her
pretty mouth. Napier^s White Witch, as the men
of the Rifle Brigade had called Charity in India,
well deserves the sobriquet. Charming as a girl,
she has developed into a still more charming
woman. To a complexion white and pure as the
snow on Monte Rosa, she adds the contrast of
miraculously-pencilled dark eyebrows. Yet there
is not a really good feature in her face. Her eyes
are not large nor remarkable for beauty of ex-
pression or colour, still she contrives to make
wonderful '' play^^ with them ; her mouth is some-
what wide, but her lips are red as roses ; and no
VOL. I. 9
130 BROWN AS A BERRY.
one looking at the fair, soft, babyish countenance,
the silky, flaxen hair cut a la Vandyke over her
forehead, and falling behind in a cascade of curls
nearly to her waist, and the slim, tall, svelte figure
— the admiration of every man and the envy of
most of her own sex — could help saying, " What
a sweet woman !"
She is very popular among men, and is as
much admired in Kilniddry shire now she is a
wife as she was when a girl at Blackbeck House ;
but she has anything but the love of women.
Her manners are extremely pleasant, and she
can talk on any subject from Colenso to bonnets,
having a smattering of knowledge and "small
talk " on the principal topics of the day. As
she generally suits her conversation to the style
of person to whom she is speaking, and has a
peculiarly angelic way of giving forth her opinions
as if asking for advice, it is not astonishing she
should be a general favourite with men. Beyond
herself, her dress, and flirtations, she is cased in
triple brass. " Only herself^ might be her motto.
For anything else she does not care so much as
a straw; and if the husband who is devotedly
attached to her died next week, her first thought
would be. How shall I look in crape and that
disfiguring widow^s cap ? Although she can
" gush'' with the utmost enthusiasm on paintings
BROWN AS A BERRY, 131
and music, and philantliropic objects, that which
really interests her, and alone gives her true and
profound pleasure, is the study of a new shade
for her dress, or a new fashion for arranging her
hair. As she dresses to perfection, she may cer-
tainly be congratulated upon have attained her
end in fashionable life.
The space of time during which the men are
supposed to be talking of the legislation of the
nation, the foreign policy of Britain, and other
sensible subjects, is a very dull and slow period
to the ladies boxed up in the drawing-room.
It is impossible to get up much excitement
over photograph albums filled with cartes of
other people's friends whom you have never met,
and most probably never will meet. So conver-
sation is usually at a very low ebb until the
arrival of the men. In the meantime scandal
and idle gossip, with its attendant brilliant re-
marks, form a substitute as a sort of stop-gap.
This, indeed, is not always the case, especially
when really clever women are met together ; but,
as everybody knows, it is too generally the rule
when the majority are only able to talk of persons,
and not things. Liberty of speech should not be
allowed to degenerate into unlimited license.
Mrs. Napier lets her eyes travel slowly and
languidly over Thyrza's face and figure. An
132 BROWN AS A BERRY.
extremely plain girl^ and -uiifortunately awkward,
is her decision. No style at all about her, and
her complexion quite beneath criticism.
" So you travelled with Jack/-* says Mrs.
"Only part of the way. We crossed the
" Is he handsome T'
" Oh no.''
'^ What is he like, Miss Rutherfurd V
" He has grey hair/' answers Thyrza, men-
tioning the points in Terrier's face which have
struck her most, " and blue eyes — they are grey
in some lights. He has a black moustache, and
he is very brown — browner even than I am."
" Grey hair ! But he is quite a young man —
scarcely thirty yet."
" He does not look old in spite of the grey hair."
'' What else ?"
" He had on a light grey overcoat, and a hat
which looked as if the crown had been often sat
upon. That is all I noticed, excepting that he
had a lot of parcels and big boxes."
" And, Miss Rutherfurd," continues Mrs.
Napier, suddenly recollecting Thyrza is Mark's
protegee, and the girl proposed by him as gover-
ness for her children — " you have been at
school in Yillios.''''
BROWN AS A BERRY. 133
" Kh, I suppose you were considered the
pattern girl of the school ?"
'^ Indeed I was not/^ says Thyrza^ wondering
why Miss Lefroy is giving her such odd little
nods behind her spectacles. " I was considered
the black sheep of the pension. The girls used
to call me Beelzebub, and Beel for short, as it
was rather long to say the whole name, because
I was always up to some mischief."
" My dear I" exclaims Miss Lefroy ; ^^ what
sort of girls could they have been ?"
" Some of them were awfully jolly, but others
were such sneaks^ and told Miss Holt whenever
we went over to the confectioner^s for macaroons
or bonbons. We used to slip out through the
garden by a little side gate to the shop, which
was next door but one to M. PauPs, and on the
same side as the Flying Dragon."
" Were you found out ?" asks Mrs. Napier.
" Well, once Miss Holt came into the shop
while I was buying chocolate creams for a friend
of mine. I had just time to dive under the
counter and crawl to the other side on my hands
and knees, where I lay in fear and trembling
until she had gone. One of the girls told —
mean thing ! and I got no dinner for two days.
But that was a lon^ time ago," pursues Thyrza,
134 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" I was only fourteen tlien^ and quite a little girl.
I have been junior English teacher for a year."
" It must have been a fine sort of teaching/^
says Mrs. Napier, in her soft cooing voice.
" So it was ; I got on capitally. Sometimes
we acted charades, and I always took the man's
part. The last time Miss Holt was scandalized
because one of the girls brought a suit of her
brother's old sailor's clothes to school with her,
and I put them on. I made such a good man ;
the girls thought I looked much nicer with a
moustache than without it, and I think so too.
Miss Holt was so angry, for I put my hands in
my trousers pockets, and strutted and swaggered,
just as I have seen petit-creves do in Villios.-"
'^ Come here, Miss Rutherfurd,'' beckons Miss
Lefroy, as Luke Mark and the other men enter
the drawing-room. " My dear,'' she goes on, in
a low whisper — " my dear, do not say any more
about moustaches and — and — Beelzebub !"
" Ought I not to have said that ?" inquires
Thyrza, horror-stricken and in the utmost con-
sternation. '^ I did not know.. What shall I
do ? Shall I say I did not know ?"
" No, no ; that would only make it worse."
" Do you take any interest in old china ?"
asks Mr. Lefroy, briskly, rolling along the velvet-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 135
^^ Well, yes ; it is a fact I do, Mr. Lefroy,"
" Then you will appreciate the specimens I
have gathered together. The Dresden ware I
keep in this cabinet, which is all made of glass,
shelves and sides, and mirrors at the back and
below to reflect the figures. You will observe it
has a very fine effect, and it is my own design,
and you must know that my taste a leetle
Mr. Lefroy pauses to regard himself with
infinite satisfaction in one of the gilt girandoles
above the cabinet.
" This plate, with the raised figures, is a piece
of the celebrated Palissy ware. I can assure you
it is rare, very rare, particularly rare. The
dark-blue dish, with the gold enamel, is a speci-
men of Limoges, still rarer. Now, the lace on
this shepherdess's dress is beautifully done, and
the roses in her hair are painted by hand. Dear
me ! I was at considerable trouble and expense
in bringing all these treasures safely to Lillies-
hill. It requires a very fine eye, I can tell you,
to distinguish between the real and imitation
" If you are not too tired. Miss Rutherfurd,
will you give us a little music ?" asks Mark. " Do
you remember anything without the notes ?"
136 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Then Mr. Lefroy sits down on an ottoman
near the conservatory while Thyrza goes to the
piano, and he reflects that everything has gone
off capitally; the fish was done to a T and cut
firm and clean; there was a little too much
pepper in the sonp_, perhaps_, but otherwise it
was excellent. The omelettes were tough as
shoe-leather, that came of the dinner being
later than usual. He must mind that another
time. Inhere is a chance for Luke now, the
MacNab girls will each have 20,000/. down
when they marry. He will promise not to spoil
sport. Why, he could have either of them to-
morrow foi the mere asking, they are so awfully
in love with him. That new port is really very
inferior. He will send for the wine merchant's
account and shut him up at once. Scarcely a
drop of decent stuff to be had since Gladstone
advocated cheap sherry. Showy-looking girls
the MacNabs, but Mrs. Napier carries off the
palm undeniably — can't hold a candle to her.
Mrs. Napier is playing Bezique with Archie
MacNab, and Lola and Mark are their oppo-
nents. Without the least apparent effort, she
has attracted the attention of the minister and
Mr. MacNab to assist her in choosing what
cards to throw away, and appeals to Mark to be
told how much four kings count. " Bezique
BROWN AS A BERRY. 137
is such a frightfully intricate game, and she
is so unfortunately stupid about recollecting
numbers, she never can remember how much
four kings count. '^ She puts her pretty
elbows, round and smooth, from which the
lace sleeves have slipped back, on to the
mother- o'-pearl inlaid three-legged table, and
glances up into Mr. Dods" face with an innocent
abandon, which makes Lola marvel how it is Mrs.
Napier always contrives to look so charming,
and how is it her skirts hang like those in the
fashion plates, and her attitudes resemble those
in a picture. In all this there is art, but it is
the perfection of art and acting, for everything
Charity says and does is with calculation as to
the effect it will produce on others, and although
all is studied it appears simplicity and nature
Thyrza is at home at the piano ; she is a
born musician, and Mr. Spindler has done his
best to cultivate her talent. Her fingers ramble
over the keys into Ascher^s San-Souci, and from
that to a classical piece, a favourite of the old
music master's, but thrown away upon the
present audience. That style of music almost
requires a special education to be appreciated, as
game eaten high is not relished by the multi-
tude. As she plays loud the conversation grows
138 BROWN AS A BERRY.
forte ; when she plays piano_, the voices sink to
pianissimo. Music always exercises a peculiarly
soothing effect on Thyrza. When angry, or
vexed, or in a fit of the blues, she invariably
derives consolation from her piano. It is as
good as a pipe of extra excellent tobacco to an
inveterate smoker who has not smoked for
She has colours in her mind^s eye for the
music of different composers. The Sonata Pas-
sione with its broad glorious chords she calls
deep crimson ; Beethoven in general is rich
purple with dark Rembrandt shadows thrown
across the brightness of melody. Certain com-
positions of Schumann recall a sunset on a
clear frosty night. Some of the old Masters
twilight on a November evening, when the sun
has gone behind the hills, and only a crimson
glow remains in the sky with a single star shining
out in the West. The wild despairing pathos of
Schumann^s Manfred brings before her a picture
of waves breaking on a lonely shore, with a dis-
masted ship floating helplessly along at the mercy
of the elements. A white rag of what has been
a sail is still wrapped round the broken stump
of the main-mast ; an immense wave, like a huge
monster ready to devour the ill-fated vessel, is
BROWN AS A BERRY. 139
moving on towards it : there is no moon, only-
dull dark banks of heaving clouds.
Perhaps it is not astonishing that in her more
dreamy moments, Thyrza^s head is filled with odd
fancies which come and go at will. Circum-
stances in early life mould the character to
a great extent. In childhood we cannot fight
against them, as we can do when older. Part
of Thyrza"'s life has been very solitary. During
the Midsummer and Christmas holidays she has
always been left alone at the pension under the
charge of an old woman called Mere Pantoufile,
who with the assistance of another elderly indi-
vidual cleaned the house during the absence of
So she had plenty of time for dreaming, sitting
in the old tree among its apple blossoms near the
slow- flowing river, playing solemn mass music
in the sitting room in the firelight, with Mr.
Spindler accompanying her on his violin. Saun-
tering solitary through the chilly cloisters of the
ancient convent where the nuns had paced up
and down — did any thoughts of the world left
outside, flit across their holy meditations? — looking
out upon the gay fete-keepers at Christmas when
each little peasant had his snug home to go to,
while she was left to celebrate the festival with
140 BROWN AS A BEKRY.
Mere Pantouffle ; always longing to take licr share
in the drama of life,, and always obliged to stand
back a spectator, she has lived more in dreamland
than in reality.
As she finishes the classical piece^ Mrs.
Napier's low replies to Mark, and her rippling
laughter at his disappointment on losing his game,
warn Thyrza she is at Lillieshill.
" That^s a sweet little thing/^ says the
minister, '' but I prefer something with more
tune in it.^^
" Very nice, very nice,^^ comments Mr. Lefroy,
struggling violently with a strong tendency to
indulge in his usual after-dinner nap. " I will
show you how to play it. In books, music,
pictures, it is the style of a thing which is every-
thing. Even an ugly woman, if she has but
style, will make a great impression, when a
pretty country bumpkin would never be looked at.^^
" Well, it^s a fact,"*"* responds Thyrza, demurely,
her dark eyes flashing brilliantly, a contrast to
the gravity of her countenance.
'' Do you know any Scotch airs T' asks Mr.
MacNab. " There^s more real melody and poetry
in the ' Flowers o' the Forest,^ or the ^ Land o'
the Leal,^ than in the finest operatic song.''
" A very heretical opinion,'"* answers Miss
Lefroy, laughing ; " the German school of music
BROWN AS A BERRY. 14]
of which Miss Rutherfurd has just been giving
us a specimen is all the fashion now/^
" I cannot be troubled with the German
school/^ rejoins Mr. MacNab ; " I like the old-
fashioned tunes best_, although I daresay it is not
the thing J'
Thyrza begins a selection of Scotch reels
arranged by Mr. Spindler^ which she gives with
such spirit that Mr. MacNab rocks up and
down, keeping time with his feet ; in fact, he
would snap his fingers, were not his w^ife casting
wrathful glances of indignation at him. Mrs.
MacNab is not proud of the low descent of her
husband, and would fain send to the Heralds'
ofi&ce for a crest and coat of arms, but MacNab,
while not caring one whit who knows of his
parentage, and having the good sense not to
flourish it in every one^s face, will not allow his
wife to do anything of the kind. So she has,
perforce, to content herself with having mono-
grams painted in divers shapes and forms all
" Bravo ! bravo ! Miss Rutherfurd," cries
Mr. MacNab, rising to wish Miss Lefroy good
evening, the carriages having been brought
round ; " I have not heard the like of that play-
ing these twenty years. Will you be in this
neighbourhood in the autumn T'
142 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" I do not know/' returns Thyrza^ smiling.
'^Because if you are^ you must come to our
ball in October. It is to be given for Lola's
coming of age.''
" Thanks, I am not sure, but if I am it will
deligbt me extremely."
" Miss Lefroy says you have some relations in
Scotland,— Mr. Rutherfurd, of High Riggs. You'll
be certain to stay with your grandfather ?"
This is an awkward question, for old Mr.
Eutherfurd has announced in plain terms he will
have nothing to do with Thyrza.
" I think not," she answers.
"Ah, well, but if possible you must come.
Archie there, is splendid at the Highland Fling."
" Is that a Scotch song ? — is it pretty ?" in-
" No," says Mr. MacNab, with a hearty laugh,
" it's a Scotch dance. The autumn is a long
while off yet, but if you are in Scotland you
must dance the reel of Hoolachin with me. If
you are not at Lillieshill, you will come and pay
us a visit at Quentins, I hope, whenever we
settle to have the ball. So it's a promise/'
OES the sun annoy yon, Miss Thyrza?^^
asks Luke Mark.
" No, not at all. I like to feel it shining on
" Ah, you see you have no wrinkles or crows
feet to be revealed. What is it like to be sweet
seventeen, and all one^s life before you?"
" Very pleasant indeed, Mr. Mark. Seven-
teen ! Why, I shall live thirty years, at any
rate, yet. Fancy thirty whole years, in which
some nice things must happen."
" Would you mind moving a little more to
the left?" he pursues, standing in a reflective
attitude before his picture, his head thrown
slightly back with a critical air, a pipe in his
mouth, and his hands in his trousers pockets.
He has established his easel and painting ap-
paratus under the spreading branches of a fine
old beech tree on the lawn near the house.
144 BROWN AS A BERRY.
It is a lovely June morning. The sun shines
on the glittering dew still quivering like so many
precious stones in the white and yellow ox-eyed
daisies ; the blue, misty mountain peaks cutting
the clear air asunder, and the beech leaves in the
Lillieshill woods murmur to each other that this
is the blessed summer time ; that next year they
will lie dead, faded, sodden, and rotten under-
foot ; so they will drink their fill of the sun
while it shines, of the sweets of lilies and the
bloom of roses, will laugh to the moon and
glisten white in its beams; for say they, with
the Pagans of old, " Let us eat, let us drink, for
to-morrow we die."
How sweet the air is, loaded with the
perfume of lilacs and hawthorn flowers. The
day is still young; the sun^s rays have not
their full noonday strength yet, and can
hardly penetrate through the dense overhanging
leaves and branches in which a breeze creates
a thousand simultaneous dissolving lights and
On the mossy banks by the pond and the
cascade the grasshoppers are clicking away
among the speedwells and my lady's bedstraw,
and little grey rabbits, with white scuds, rustle
abruptly out of sight into the copsewood from
a field of growing corn, in which, if the farmer
BROWN AS A BERRY. 145
discovered them, they know some leaden pellets
would soon end their career.
" I thought so ; the light is wrong. It should
fall a little more on the left cheek, consequently,
on this shoulder. I see now. A few more
touches will just do it/' removing one hand
from his trousers-pocket. He then takes up his
mahl-stick, and raising it to a level with his eyes,
shuts one, and, to the uninitiated observer,
The picture is a portrait of Thyrza, repre-
senting her in a red gipsy-cloak, holding a
basket of flowers in her hand. Behind are trees
and an ancient stone balustrade, through the
bars of which shine the waters of a brook. The
stag-like eyes, with a pensive dreamy look in
them, are almost too wild for beauty ; they seem
to require taming ; but they give one an idea of
possessing a wonderful power of expression and
feeling in their hazel depths. The complexion is
olive, the mouth rather pouting, the nose delicate
and not very determined in shape, the brow
low and wide, from which the dark brown hair
grows back in rippling undulations and rich
heavy masses. Originally Mark had sketched in
a flower-girl, dressed in white and rose coloured
satin, with a necklace of pearls and a white
embroidered handkerchief tied loosely under her
VOL. I. 10
146 BROWN AS A BEERY.
cliin. However^ finding the fit of the body
troublesome^, he gave it up, and retaining the
former attitude^ painted out the bodice^ drawing
in Thyrza^s face and cloak instead.
'' WeVe an hour to ourselves/' continues
Mark. " Uncle Eichard is safe until breakfast.'^
" What is he doing ?"
" Exercising the turtle^ and after that he is
going to blow up the under-gardener ; I don't
know what about. I am afraid I shall be
obliged to rub out the face with turpentine.
The eyes don't do at all. They are too far
apart by the eighth of an inch."
" Oh;, I hope not/' says Thyrza.
In her secret soul she is not partial to
" sitting/' and regards the picture as intermin-
able,, Mark having a habit of painting right out
one day the labour of weeks.
" Oh, they are quite wrong. However, I can
easily alter them."
" When do you think it will be finished ?"
" Oh, some time or other/' he replies, in-
definitely. " I shall come to Carmylie and get
a sitting there occasionally, and by-and-by, I
dare say, Mrs. Napier will allow you to come
over to Lillieshill from Saturday until Monday.
This is only the first painting. I wish I had
the eyes right. After all, I don't believe there
BROWN AS A BERRY. 147
is mucli wrong with them. Be a bore to alter
them, and then find they had been right at first.
Don^t look quite so serious ; it gives a disagree-
able expression to the corners of the mouth.
Try to smile.''
Thyrza breaks into a merry laugh. Mark is
the least thing in the world provoked.
" Oh, Mr. Mark, I shall be grave directly ;
but I do so want to laugh when I see you
looking so solemnly at me and measuring, just
as if I was somebody not real, you know. It is
"Try again,'' says Mark, good-humouredly.
" I am not quite certain about the proportions.
I want to measure your face, and you may laugh
as much as you like while I do that."
He takes a letter from his pocket and mea-
sures the length of Thyrza's face. It divides
exactly into three parts from the forehead to the
chin. Near the porch on the sweep is a figure
of a fat man in light summer attire. Mr.
Lefroy is waddling along to Mark with the
utmost haste. Being very stout and rotund,
it occupies him several minutes to traverse the
distance of fifty yards.
" Now keep grave this time," pursues Mark.
A lively wasp flies near Thyrza, coming
unpleasantly close to her face. She stands
148 BROWN AS A BERRY.
patiently, not venturing to move, and ap-
peals to Mark. He gets up from his camp-
stool, pursues the wasp enthusiastically with his
pocket-handkerchief, and seats himself, when it
returns, buzzing irritatingly in close proximity
with his aquiline nose, on which it manifests
a decided intention to crawl.
" Bother that brute V he exclaims, having
again routed the enemy and once more settled
himself with his palette on his thumb and picked
up the right brush for painting skin and not that
for laying on masses of colour. " Co?^found it !
That^s the nuisance of summer ! One can^t sit
outside for a minute without being surrounded
by a flying host. What^s become of the smooth-
ing brush and the little palette knife ? I believe
I've upset the megilp. No I haven^t. I am
going to sketch in the arm, so will you put down
that piece of paper and hold the basket for the
attitude of the elbow ? Don't move for the life
of you. I will see about the paper.'''
" And do tell me whose likeness is on the
paper, Mr. Mark. Tve wanted to know ever
since I came here. I found it in my box the
night of my arrival.''
Suiting the action to the word, he moves
away the drawing. It has hitherto been turned
with the blank side upwards ; now it is reversed.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 149
and tlie woman's face Thyrza had admired looks
up at him.
" Good God !" he cries_, recoiling back several
steps and becoming ashy white. " My wife V
" What is the matter^ Mr. Mark T' exclaims
Thyrza^ oblivious of the position that has taken
so much time in arranging^ and letting the
basket fall to the ground. " Oh_, don^t tear it
up. Are you really a married man ? You don^t
look in the least as if you were.'^
" Why ? Are there particular signs which
denote a married man T' says he.
" Oh, I thought people looked much graver
and older when they were married.''''
"Now, Miss Thyrza, no one knows I have a
wife excepting that lady herself, her unlucky
husband, and the man who read the service
" Not even Mr. Ferrier V
" No, I should think Jack did not know,'' he
answers almost fiercely.
" But I thought he was your greatest friend,"
" So he is. But it is not convenient to let
even your best friend into the whole of your
secrets. However, you must not laugh when
you hear aunt or uncle talking of my future
marriage, and so on."
150 BROWN AS A BERRY.
« No ''—hesitatingly.
" In short, I wish you to keep the knowledge
of my wife a secret. It cannot touch or hurt
you in any way, or I would not ask it. All you
have to do is simply to say nothing.'"
Mr. Lefroy hearing down upon them within a
couple of yards prevents Thyrza from heing able
to do more than give a hasty answer in the
" Oh, Luke, I can hardly speak of it/' says
Mr. Lefroy, mournfully — '' that idiot of a Jen-
" Has Europa sprained her \q^, or is Jupiter
off his feet?"
" The turtle which was getting on so nicely !
I had the poor dear thing out to exercise a little
by the pond, and left Jenkins in charge while I
went up to the gardens to see how the tomatoes
are getting on, and when I came back it was
gone. Actually gone ! I shall have the pond
dragged, but I shall never see it again. And to
think what fine soup it would have made !
I really think, Luke," continues Mr. Lefroy,
plaintively, " I really think the severe loss
will have a great effect on my health for some-
" You should have the pond dragged."
" I shall ; but the turtle is lost for ever. The
BROWN AS A BERRY. 151
largest one I ever saw alive in this country.
Ah ! how is the portrait progressing ? Let me
put a few touches in that corner to show you
the sort of thing it wants.^'
" Oh ! don't trouble/' rejoins Mark, hastily.
" I know what you mean.''
'' You can't until I have shown you/' pursues
Mr. Lefroy. Every one considers himself at
liberty to criticise the production of an amateur.
Even a person who can scarcely distinguish an
oil painting from a water colour will have no
scruple in pronouncing judgment upon the un-
fortunate amateur. " There is something queer
about the eyes. Don't you think there is a
slight cast in one ?"
Mr. Lefroy seizes hold of the palette and
mixes some colours, preparing to execute his
improvements, when the gong sounds for break-
" What is the thermometer to-day ?" Mark
asks adroitly, as they draw near the house.
*' Bless me ! bless me ! I had forgotten to
look. What a lucky thing you reminded me/'
and he trots off to the tree in which the ther-
mometer is fastened.
" Then I can rely upon you ?" says Mark to
Thyrza, while entering the dining-room where
M iss Lefroy is waiting, and she replies quickly —
152 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" Yes, you can/^
A breakfast table in a Scoteb country house
is one of the pleasantest sights possible belonging
to the material senses. How picturesque to the
hungry eye is the dish of trout,, fried in butter
and oatmeal ; the snowy scones laid in damask
napkins ; the golden marmalade and heather-
honey ; the crisp oatcakes ; the abundant choice
of various sweets ; and later on^ the cold grouse
or capercailzie; while added to all this the
steamy scent of coffee or chocolate breathes an
agreeable invitation to begin !
The sun streams brightly through the French
windows and half closed persiennes on to the
white cloth, silver hissing tea-urn, and a ^' bit "
of rich colouring by Meissonier on the wall.
Miss Lefroy^s peacocks, impatient for their break-
fast, come and tap on the panes to remind her
time is on the wing, and that they are on the
look out for their breadcrumbs. At Lillieshill,
the custom is to open the post-bag before
breakfast, and arrange the letters for each
person in a little heap at the side of his plate.
Whether this be a good plan or not, it is the
Some visitors, stronger minded than others,
exercised sufficient self-control, after turning
over their epistle to ascertain the post-mark —
BROWN AS A BERRY. 153
an instinct common with every one — to place the
document in their pockets, thus enabling them
to eat their breakfasts with a good digestion and
There is a large pile awaiting Mark,, on which
Miss Lefroy comments playfully.
" What a pretty monogram there is on one of
your letters, Luke. You have got quite a
general post-office to-day .'''
" Do you want the monogram for some of the
girls who are collecting crests T' he returns,
opening a letter nonchalantly and tearing off
the purple and silver monogram for Miss
^' Thanks. What is the name ? Luke,
Louisa ; no, it is none of those. One can
never make head or tail of these unintelligible
twists and curves. This might be Greek or
Hebrew, or Chinese, for any word that can be
" Lilith,''^ answers Mark, placidly. ^' She is
a friend of mine in London, and wants me to
get her one of those Skye terriers without be-
ginning or end. I am to telegraph immediately
from Queensmuir as to when I think I can
obtain it. Mrs. Temple will probably kill it
with kindness for a month, and then it will be
discarded for some newer attraction.^^
154 BEOWN AS A BERRY.
" What was the height of the thermometer,
" Sixty-five in the shade. The cook is getting
very careless about the cutlets, and the coifee is
not fit to drink/''
" You had better s^Dcak to her/-'
^'1 shall when I order the dinner/''
Mr. Lefroy is very emphatic on the subject,
and to hear him speak one would think him the
greatest autocrat that ever lived, whereas the
mistress of the kitchen who ministers to his
epicurean tastes rules him with a rod of iron,
and is in reality the head of the house.
'' I am thinking of going to Queensmuir
immediately/^ says Mark, rising from the table.
^' If any one has any commands I shall be happy
to fulfil them.''
" My box of after-dinner pills is finished,
Luke. You can tell the chemist to make up
another dozen. Should recommend you to try
them. Composition of my own. The chemist
said he had never seen anything like the pre-
" Then I am off," rejoins Mark. " Have not
you got any shades of wool that want match-
ing for that voluminous sofa blanket you are
working for a Sandwich Island chief, Aunt
BROWN AS A BERRY. 155
" Don't be irreverent, Luke. It^s going to
be sold for the S. P. G. But even if I did
want any worsted you would never match the
'' Don''t forget the pills, Luke/^ calls out Mr.
Lefroy, as Mark leaves the room on his way to
" What would you like to do to-day, Thyrza V
Miss Lefroy has arrived at the familiarity of
Thyrza''s Christian name. " Have a ride, dear ?
I must call on Lord and Lady George Boggs.
That would be no amusement to you, they are
both so deaf, and talking for an hour through an
ear-trumpet is very exhausting. Do you know
' Tupper's Proverbial Philosophy T "
" No,'' says Thyrza.
" There is such capital advice in it about
matrimony. It advises all girls to pray for a
good husband, and whether they get him or not
it can do the man no harm and most likely will
benefit him. A good husband is the best pre-
sent a girl can have ; it is better than money,
better than good looks, better than cleverness.
There is a mate born for every one.''
" Then what became of yours ?" asks Thyrza.
" Oh, I beg "
" He must have died in the cradle, for he did
not come up to time, you see," returns Miss
156 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Lefroy^ not in tlie least offended. ^' However, I
hope yours has not shared the same misfortune.
It is a dreary life to be a governess, always
among little children.^'
^^ Horrid pests," says Thyrza.
" Oh, I like children ; but it must be tire-
some teaching them, unless you have a born love
of teaching implanted in you. You are a nice
little girl, I have taken a fancy to you, and I
hope you will spend your holidays at Lillieshill.
But I think you are right in going to work at
Carmylie ; it is preferable to being dependent on
your relations, and Luke is still rather young to
have a ward of your age. Well, dear, go and
put on your habit and be back in time for lunch,
if you can."
Then Mr. Lefroy says grace and departs to
the kitchen to deliver his opinions on the subject
of the cutlets to the housekeeper, and consult
with her concerning the great event of the day
— dinner; and Miss Lefroy, wearing an enor-
mous slop-basin hat, which swallows up her
small thin face, comes out of the conservatory
with a plate of breadcrumbs for the pet pea-
cocks. She watches Thyrza, in an old dark blue
habit, formerly Miss Lcfroy^s, canter down the
avenue, and then, feeling a little sad with the
thought of the vanished time when she herself was
BROWN AS A BERRY. 157
young and lighthearted as the girl rider^, she turns
to caress the peacocks standing round her picking
up the crumbs,, after which she goes to clip the
dead leaves and withered flowers from her plants.
She takes no part in the housekeeping, Mr.
Lefroy transacts everything connected with it
himself, thereby sparing his sister a great amount
of work and annoyance.
No go-between — on the important matter of
eating — would content Mr. Lefroy. This settled,
Mr. Lefroy walks round his Home Farm, talks
to his grieve (farm bailiff), looks at the turnips ;
thinks the editor of the KUniddryshire Adver-
tiser is a smart pushing fellow, quite took his
view of that case. Shall ask him to Lillieshill
for a couple of days^ partridge shooting in the
autumn ; comes home to lunch ; drives into the
country ; criticises his flowers and grapes ; has
afternoon tea ; writes letters ; dinner ; has a
nap, snores ; protests " Fanny always thinks he
is asleep, if he closes his eyes for two seconds,
when on the contrary he was just thinking of a
patent swivel -" has cofi*ee, reads The Field and
The Times, and is sure he knows better than
" that correspondent,^^ and goes to bed convinced
there are not many more enlightened men in
the world than himself.
Luke Mark drives into Queensmuir, and puts up
158 BROWN AS A BERRY.
at tlie Carmylie Arms inn. The Queensmuirians
stare at him in wonder and great admiration, as
though they had never beheld a human being before.
Queensmuir is a little manufacturing town,
not unlike Villios in its narrow, ill paved, and
worst lighted winding streets, with odd unex-
pected corners, and " wynds^^ or " closes,^^ up
which the wind blows when apparently there is
none anywhere else.
It is irregularly built; some of the houses
being several stories high, and others short and
low, as if they had received a knock on the
head, preventing their further growth.
Hills, blue as the Franconian range of which
the Transatlantic poet sings so sweetly, surround
Queensmuir on all sides.
Excepting from the west end it is impossible
to enter the town, unless by ascending or de-
scending rising ground.
In winter and when the roads are bad, which
happens whenever there is a rainy day, the
weather acting the parts of road maker and
scavenger, this last mentioned feature in the land-
scape is a consideration.
Things never having been different in Queens-
muir, no one remonstrates.
The discontent with the state of existing cir-
cumstances evaporates in a hearty fit of grum-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 159
bling, when the time comes for paying the road
Besides^ nothing can be done in Queensmuir
without the consent of the Baron Bailie, whose
ideas on all subjects by no means tally with
those of the Queensmuirians. They may fret
and fume as they like, explode in wrath in
letters to the Kilniddry shire Advertiser , to
ventilate their troubles according to the gene-
ral custom when any one has a grievance, but the
Bailie holds his own, and administers his autho-
rity after his own lights, in defiance of the com-
bined strength of the whole Parochial Board.
A great deal of business is transacted in
Queensmuir, it being the terminus town for a
pretty extensive distinct of glen and hill country.
Of competition there is none ; two butchers
rule the roast, and determine the price of beef
for a population of upwards of 4000 inhabitants.
There is only one house-painter, and other trades
are represented in proportion. The shopkeepers,
having their regular customers, and knowing
the next town, Middleby, to be at an incon-
venient distance for those persons living in the
country, are thoroughly independent. They
will receive your money if you choose to pa-
tronize them with your custom, but if you like
to transfer it elsewhere, you are at perfect
160 BROWN AS A BERRY.
liberty to do so^ and they will not exert them-
selves in any way to retain it.
Society^ properly so called, does not exist,
Queensmuir being split up into numerous petty
factions, owing to internal disputes, and only
two families on an average in tbe place, are on
speaking terms with the whole community.
Marriages are, on the whole, numerous among
the lower classes; the new year and the terms
Whitsuntide and Martinmas being the favourite
times of the year, but there is a deadlock among
the young ladies from lack of suitors, their equals
in rank, and the majority of them stand an excel-
lent chance of becoming old maids, unless some
•wave of good fortune should bring into Queensmuir
a small army of clerks, ministers, and others with
salaries varying from two to three hundred a year,
and each, like C celebs, in search of a wife.
Such an advent would be hailed with pleasure
by the fathers and brothers, who do not admire
the foreboding that their daughters and sisters
will probably remain on their hands altogether,
for, whatever may be said to the contrary, the
men of the family are never averse to see their
unattached feminine belongings enter into the
longed for Canaan of matrimony.
In Queensmuir there are ten kirks, not count-
ing the Episcopal Church, and also four banks,
BROWN AS A BERRY. 161
from wliicli it may be inferred that the souls and
purses alike of the lieges of the burgh are well
taken care of.
A Town House, lately renovated and beauti-
fied, adorns the High Street, and a large gilt
salamander or dragon looks down from the
parish kirk steeple over the worthy burghers.
S. Bridget is the patron saint.
It probably is not the correct thing for all
towns to have patron saints. Be this as it may,
Queensmuir boasts one — a relic, no doubt, of the
'^ Pope, that Pagan full of pride,''"' the mere
mention of whom is sufficient to make many
Queensmuirians feel as uncomfortable as though the
" Great Sooty Original,'"' horns and all, were visible
among them. But S. Bridget is not so much
reverenced as the stronger spirit, S. Whisky;
people in general seeming to prefer the tangible
and concrete substance to the abstract and unseen.
Many superstitions still linger in Queensmuir.
Hallowe^en is observed, old style, when the
gardens of the bachelors in the vicinity of the
town are pillaged by the unmarried women for
kale stocks^ Anglice, plants of kale. They must
be gathered in the dark, and are placed behind
the doors of their houses, when the first man
who comes in the morning will, it is supposed,
be the future husband.
VOL. I. 11
162 BROWN AS A BERRY.
The crowino: of a cock at tintinieous hours is
firmly regarded as an omen of death or mis-
fortune, also the howling of a dog at night ;
and a brood of chickens which turn out all hens
is considered very unlucky.
The Queensmuirians look down with pa-
tronizing contempt on the dwellers in the glens
as " country bodies wha ken naething/^ and the
country bodies think Queensmuir an amazingly
Instead of going to the post-office, which is
kept by an old shopkeeper of a pious turn of
mind and a remarkable shortness of temper —
two attributes that not unfrequently accompany
each other — Mark wends his way to one of the
four banks. Probably he intends despatching
his telegram about the Skye terrier afterwards.
This bank, called the British Jute Company, is a
square, dingy, dirty- grey house, fronting the
High Street and the Town House. It is the
essence of neatness and respectability within and
without. Woe betide the hapless spider who
spins its web in Mrs. Hislop^s dining or drawing-
room cornice ! woe to the unfortunate domestic
who should venture to take an extra half hour in
bed on washing morning ! and woe to that indi-
vidual who should mar the spotless expanse of
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 163
the clean doorstep by forgetting to scrape the
mud of Queensmuir off his feet !
Mr. Hislop, the banker, is considered more in
the light of a friend and confidential adviser of
the Lillieshill family than as a mere man of
business. Besides being a banker, he is also a
'^ writer'^ or lawyer, and conducts the cases
under the Sheriff in the Small Debt Courts, held
in the Town House every month. In appear-
ance he is not unlike a penguin, with pale blue
eyes, and is fast growing ponderous in corpora-
tion. Most of the county families bank at the
B. J. C, and more than half of them employ
Mr. Hislop as their factor. In consequence of
this, Mr. Hislop is disposed to regard the county
families as men and women very superior indeed
to the class of which he himself forms a worthy
member. He is asked out to dinner once or
twice every year at the best houses, where he
enjoys a good dinner with good wine. And at
those places at which he is rather a favourite, he
is generally invited over for some days* shooting
in the autumn.
All this is greatly relished by his bustling,
sharp-tempered, warm-hearted wife. When Mrs.
Hislop has dined at Lillieshill, she usually has a
party a few evenings afterwards, at which she
164 BROWN AS A BERRY.
amuses her friends and neighbours by quoting
secondhand the sayings and doings of old Lord
and Lady George Bogg, thus impressing the
Queensmuirians with a sense of her importance
and intimacy with the " upper ten^^ of the county.
Mr. and Mrs. Hislop have two sons and a
daughter — Tertius^ Tom^ and Robertina. The
former is intended to follow in his father's foot-
steps^ while Tom is to be a medical man. At
present he is employed in his father's bank as
clerkj and a nice time Mr. Jardine^ the ac-
countant^ has in making him do his w^ork^ Tom
being much more inclined to drawing caricatures
in the bank books and play tricks, than add up
columns of figures and estimate the rate of dis-
count. The Miss MacNabs, in a pony carriage
from Long Acre_, and a diminutive tiger perched
behind^ have just driven across the High Street,
attended by sundry admiring urchins,, who are
holding on in the background, when they pull up
to speak to Mr. Dods.
" Tertius, the MacNabs are talking to Cousin
James/' says Tom, stopping in the middle of a
declaration he is writing out for Mr. Hislop, to
step down from his three-legged stool and look
through the black wire blinds that have been
put up to prevent the clerks from gazing out
and the Queensmuirians from staring in.
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 165
'^ Is Mr. Hislop at home T' asks Mark, push-
ing back the red baize swing doors, and entering
A shock head of light brown hair, a pair of
blue eyes speckled with black spots, and a very
small nose, which constitute the chief traits in
Tom Hislop's physiognomy, is turned round for
Mark^s observation, from his post. Tom has ex-
pected to see Mr. Jardine, and is not disap-
pointed to behold instead Mark^s pleasant, good-
" Yes, he is.''
'' I want to speak to him,'' pursues Mark.
Mr. Hislop is sitting in his private room
talking over some business matters with Mr.
Jardine. He rises on hearing Mark wishes to
see him, and the accountant goes out into the
"All well at Lillieshill, I hope?" says Mr.
Hislop. " Mr. Lefroy is thinking of sending his
cattle to Battersea soon, I believe ?"
" Oh yes ; all well." Then Mark hesitates a
" The roads really pretty fair ?" observes Mr.
" Yes, I did not notice ; I suppose they are."
Mark appears to find some difficulty in ex-
plaining himself. Mr. Hislop does not know
166 BKOWN AS A BEREY.
how to assist him. He wishes his wife were
here. Helena is always capital in an emergency
of this kind.
" I want you to transact a little business for
me/^ begins Mark. " I need hardly say I have
known you so long^ Mr. Hislop, that I can
depend upon it being strictly between ourselves^
and going no further.^-'
Mr. Hislop peers cautiously round him^ sees
that the door is slightly ajar^ closes it softly, and
" Mr. Mark, if it is within the power of mortal
man I will do what I can. You may trust
This is with a reservation. If Mrs. Hislop
has not seen Mark in Queensmuir, she will ask
no inconvenient questions ; but if she becomes
aware of the fact, then Mr. Hislop knows she
will persecute him at night until, from sheer
weariness, he may be induced to answer her,
and partially reveal the truth. Mr. Hislop likes
his night's rest, and, if possible, wishes to serve
his client also. But what can be the business ?
Can Mark have failed and lost his money ? Or
does he want to buy shares in some company,
or in the cargo of a merchant vessel ? Mr.
Hislop not long ago realized a comfortable sum
by sending out salt to a country unprovided
BROWN AS A BERRY. 167
witli that condiment. Or has Mark come to
inquire about a shooting, or to rent a house in
the neighbourhood ?
" A friend of mine who has made an unfortu-
nate marriage, and does not wish his name to
appear in the transaction, has commissioned me
to act for him in this case,'^ says Mark, a bril-
liant inspiration seizing him to represent himself
by an imaginary friend ; " I thought I could
not apply to a better person than yourself. My
friend has, therefore, asked me to lend him a
hundred pounds in the meantime, which he will
repay me through his London bankers. He in-
tends to pay his wife two hundred pounds per
" Yes,^^ says Mr. Hislop. " You are confident
of your friend''s good faith V^
He is astonished, but he gives no sign of
amazement. The friend seems rather a doubtful
reality. In his own experience of men, he has
invariably found that it was " every one for him-
self, and let the weakest go to the wall.^^ Mark^'s
ready compliance to lend money to his friend is
incomprehensible. To the hard-headed, shrewd
Scotchman it is inexplicable. He judges others
by himself, and is certain he would not have
done so. But Mark has mentioned that the
money is for a woman, which to Mr. Hislop's
168 BROWN AS A BERET.
mind explains everything. People have always
a motive for their actions, and probably Mark's
is to oblige the lady.
" Most decidedly I have confidence in my
" I presume he and his wife are separated
from each other T' goes on Mr. Hislop.
" Yes, they are/' rejoins Mark. " I am ont of
a cheqne-book at present ; I shonld like to send
the first cheque by this post. On the 30th of
this month will yon despatch the two hundred
" Will you favour me with the name of the
party to whom the cheque is payable T'
" Lilith Dawson," writes Mark.
" I fear that is a bad pen, Mr. Mark,'' inter-
rupted Mr. Hislop. " I use fine-pointed pens,
but perhaps you prefer a broader point."
" I like a quill in general,'' says Mark, writing
the address for Mr. Hislop with a quill, and
blotting the paper on a new blotting-pad. " It
may be as well to scrawl a few lines to my friend
to let him know I have done as he wished."
" Very true, Mr. Mark." Understanding from
Mark's manner that he does not care to be
further interrogated on the subject of this fin end
who is separated from his wife. He has already
BROWN AS A BERRY. 169
decided that Mark must be acquainted with her,
or else the friend must pay heavy interest for the
loan. It is highly improbable a business man
would lend money on any other terms. Then
Mark has brought no papers about it. There
ought to have been some sort of an agreement
surely ? However, he ought to know his own
afif'airs best. Still, as an old friend of Mark^s, he
must utter one more protest.
" Mr. Mark, I trust your friend's finances are
all right. Your good nature should not lead
you into trouble. One of the nicest and most
promising young men I ever knew was ruined
by being surety for a friend."
" Have I not told you, Mr. Hislop, that I
shall get it back again T' answers Mark, folding
up the letter he has written to his wife, and
placing the cheque inside the paper in the en-
velope, directed with the broad quill charged
very full with ink. " I have written the cheque
for June 30th — I mean, filled in the name of the
lady for you."
" Although your friend^s name is not to
appear, have you any objection to yours?
When I send the money, shall I say, ' To
Lilith Dawson, from Luke Mark ?' "
" It will not signify about my name. She
170 BROWN AS A BERRY.
■will suppose I have something to do with the
lawyer/^ he replies_, drying the envelope on the
Mr. Hislop often takes his county visitors
upstairs to have a glass of wine and a biscuit ;
but he does not ask Mark to-day. He knows
all the skeletons and secret histories of nearly
every family in Kilniddryshire, and he wishes he
could see the lady to whom such a liberal allow-
ance is made. He would lay a heavy odds that
she is handsome. While he is in the short
passage leading from the Bank front door to the
stairs, the accountant, having left his pencil
in Mr. Hislop^s private room, returns for it.
The blotting-pad is lying wide open, and the
direction has been clearly impressed. With a
very little trouble, Mr. Jardine manages to de-
cipher it. He does not remain much longer than
to look at the direction and pick up his pencil.
When Mr. Hislop is once more seated in his
room, he draws his table towards him and
glances over the writing-case. Like the ac-
countant, his eye is attracted by the black
direction on the white blotting-pad —
" Bays water,
" London, W\/'
BROWN AS A BERRY.
he reads. " He said he wrote to his friend,^'
he exclaims, settling his thumbs in his waistcoat.
" He wrote to the woman. The friend does not
exist. I knew he did not from
HE day has fulfilled tlie most sanguine ex-
pectations of its fineness^ which is more
than can be said for the generality of earthly an-
ticipations. It is nearly two o'clock _, the hour at
which Mr. Lefroy lunches and waits for neither
man nor woman, be he or she prince or princess.
The soup or the entrees might spoil if not served
at the exact moment, and to a gourmand like Mr.
Lefroy, this misfortune would certainly trouble
his dreams or render his pillow a sleepless one.
About a mile and a half from Lillieshill is an
old bridge called the Bridge of Bogg. It is an
ancient structure, very narrow, and only ad-
mitting of one carriage or cart crossing at the
same time. It is built of greystone, and consists
of a single pointed arch, having a kelpie's"^ head
graven on each side above the date of erection,
and the coronet and coat-of-arms of the baron at
whose expense it was there placed.
* A kelpie is a water sprite.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 173
Near the bridge is a mill^ broad-eaved,
thatched roof, and grey with age. Over it
some pigeons, with coral feet and glossy breasts,
are flying, while others sit on the chimney-top,
pluming themselves. The burn, after turning
the great black lichen-grown wheel, tumbles
precipitously down to the Bogg, the sunbeams
glinting into prismatic colours as the water leaps
from one wide spoke to another.
In the doorway stands the miller enveloped in
a cloud of dust, wherein the light makes golden
ladders : woodbine climbs, trained on lines of
string, round the casement window ; a row of
gorgeous dwarf sunflowers grow in front, stacks
of peat and unhewn pine logs are piled against
the wall, close to which a cart is propped up.
From the shafts a man, who is talking to the
miller, has just unloosened a black Flanders
horse ; its mane and tail are carefully plaited
and ornamented with gay ribbons. On the
threshold a large collie dog, tawny of muzzle
and sleek of coat, sleeps in an attitude of perfect
ease and repose; hens with variegated feathers
and scarlet combs cluck to downy chickens,
scratching among the little flower-beds, to the
serious injury of the double red daisies and pan-
sies : the song of a canary from its cage comes
loudly through the unclosed door.
174 BROWN AS A BERRY.
On the brae-side the broom is out in a glory
of living splendour^ extending far up the steep,
sandy scour, where pink spikes of foxglove blow
and rabbits have their warrens, and martens bore
nests, making even the hanging grape-like
blossoms of the laburnums pale and faint before
the dazzling magnificence of the golden ocean.
Tall ash trees, their plumy leaves fresh from the
black buds, rear their branches towards heaven
wreathed with a tangled network of graceful ivy,
silver-barked beeches, gnarled wych elms, and
rowans crowned with " blossom-balls^^ of foam
meet in wild confusion above ; while down by
the clear amber waters of the Bogg, flowing over
the russet sandstone rocks, grow bushes of red-
and- white dog-roses, clumps of meadow-sweet,
cuckoo flowers, and yellow arum lilies.
In a meadow hard by, cattle graze up to their
fetlocks in luxuriant pasturage, sprinkled with
fragrant clover and starred with daisies and
buttercups. Brown ridges of moorland, which a
few months further on will be flushed with
purple heather, flanked by belts of woodland and
strips of cornfields, and an occasional cottage or
farmstead, rise in undulations above the brae.
Seated on the parapet of the bridge is Thyrza.
Her hat is on her lap, and she is fastening some
sprays of golden broom in the front of it. Her
BROWN AS A BERRY. 175
pony feeds on a juicy bit of grass sticking out
from the stones in the bridge, and its reins are
thrown over her right arm. She finishes her
task, and picking up stone after stone, throws
them down into the water, watching the splash
they make, and amused by the flop caused by
their striking the water.
A man in a suit of light tweed and a white
hat, with a large puggeree placed well on the back
of his head, comes slowly down the brae. Be-
hind him is a small shaggy dog, long bodied,
short legged, a mass of hair like an animated
muff. Thyrza, roused from her reverie by the
sound of Ferrier^s tread on the dusty road, turns
" Well, mademoiselle, how has the world been
using you since I last saw you T^ he asks, sitting
down beside her on the mossy rain-worn parapet.
^' Oh, very kindly, monsieur,^^ she replies.
"Does Mark let you ride about the country
without an escort ?"
" No, the groom was with me, but coming
home his horse cast a shoe, and he stayed
behind at the blacksmith^s to have it put on.^-'
" And what do you do with yourself all day ?"
^^ Nothing but sleep, eat, drink, and so on.
Mr. Mark is paintiug a picture of me, and I
usually sit for it every morning."
176 BROWN AS A BERRY.
"You have got on pretty well^ considering
you have only been a month at Lillieshill. Is
Mark at home ?''
" He was not when I set off for my ride,
but I should think he will be on my re-
"And you like Lillieshill better than the
" Oh; there is no comparison/'
" But you must have had friends there !
Girls are gregarious ; they always form gushing
attachments and write long letters in a thin_,
angular hand, all crossed and delightfully ille-
" Yes, I had some school friends ; but I don't
suppose I shall see any of them again. !My greatest
friends were Mr. Spindler, M. Paul the barber,
and two dear old toads that lived in the garden.
They buried themselves every winter, and came
up again in the spring."
" Interesting objects for pets ! And who was
M. Paul ?"
" He has a shop next door but one to the
confectioner's, close to the Flying Dragon.
Such a nice old man ! He was very kind to
" You seem to have had a choice selection of
acquaintances in Villios ?"
BKOWN AS A BERRY. 177
'^ Oh, Miss Holt knew lots of people, but she
was different from me. M. Paul took me to the
" Tall, thin man ? He cut my hair the day I
" Yes, tall and thin with no hair on his head —
not even one hair. He used to make cosmetics
for producing a ^ luxuriant crop / but they
never did him any good. Did you ever hear of
" No ; who was he ? Was he a relation of
the barber's ?"
'^ A Flemish Count, who was beheaded by the
Duke of Alba, in 1568. The play that M. Paul
took me to see was about him.""
" A nd when did you and the barber go to the
" Last Christmas. Miss Holt went to pay a
visit to some friends in Paris, and I was left
alone in the pension.'*
^' In that great dull house T'
" Yes. There was an old woman. Mere
PantouflQe, who cooked my dinner and slept in
the house at night. Oh, monsieur, I did feel so
desolate, and I sat looking out of the music-
room window "
" Out of which you jumped so nicely.''
" On to the street," continues Thyrza, heedless
VOL. 1. 12
178 BKOWN AS A BERRY.
of his interruption, ^^ which was filled with
people all in fete dresses. And I was cross with
everything. It was so dismal — so dead — so
stupid — so stagnant. Just as I was complaining
to myself, Mere Pantouffle said some one wanted
to speak to me. It was M. Paul."
" But how came you to be on such friendly
terms with him V
" Why, monsieur, he coiffed Miss Holt^s hair.
She used to send me across to his shop with her
chignons for him to rearrange when the fashion
changed. No one minded. M. Paul said he
was going to the theatre, and if I liked he would
take me with him. He saw I was dying of
ennui by myself, and 1 had known him ever
since I lived at Villios. So in the evening he
came for me.^^
" Was he a married man ?"
" Oh yes ; Madame Paul was a fat little
woman, like a roly-poly pudding, with a string
tied round the middle to indicate her waist.-'-'
'^ Had they any sons V
'' Yes, two. Louis and Victor."
" Were they of the party too ?"
" No, they could not come. Louis is in a
coiffeur's shop in Paris, and Victor is a commis-
voyageur for M. Joachim. What questions you
ask, monsieur \"
BROWN AS A BERRY. 179
" I merely thought it probable the sons were
" They ^ ere very polite young men, and some-
times paid me some pretty compliments/^
" Oh, you like the polite way of telling
" Yes — at least, I mean I like people who say
" Whether they are true or not ?'*
" Oh, they may occasionally be true, may they
'' When you have lived a little longer, you
will lind it is not your best friends who pay you
the most compliments/''
^' Well, perhaps not. But a word of praise,
how it helps one on, and makes one so bright
and gay ! Perhaps I should tire of compliments
if I were more accustomed to them. One does
weary of things after awhile,^'' looking medita-
tive and tapping her boot with her silver-
" I should just think one did V^ says Ferrier.
" You see,''' very gravely, " there is nothing
new under the sun. And it is even very
stale and hackneyed to say there is nothing
new. All the inventions, as they are called,
have already been in existence since the begin-
ning of the world, they are only put into a dif-
180 BROWN AS A BERRY.
ferent shape and form. The description of
the fast man is as applicable now as it was in
Solomon's day. The only difference is_, there
was no smoking then. Bnt if they had known
the virtue of the weed^ how they would have
smoked ! for of course there was a tobacco plant
among the other plants and shrubs in the Garden
of Eden. But you were telling me about the
" Whom you seem to despise.'^
'^ No, in general I don't care for the snob-
ocracy ; but very likely he was an intelligent
man. He must have been if he took you to the
theatre. Did you enjoy it?"
" Oh, ciel ! how beautiful it was \" cried
Thyrza, enthusiastically. " All the lights,, and
colours, and finely dressed people, and the
'^ What is the story of Egmont ?" asks Terrier,
lighting a cigar.
^' The first scene is nothing particular. There
are soldiers and citizens talking about the
Regent and Egmont. Oh, what I liked best
was the lovely piece where Egmont conies with
his court dress, covered over by a military cloak,
to see Clarchen. She was his ' geliebte.' "
" His what ?"
^^ His sweetheart — his true love, you know.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 181
monsieur/' explains Thyrza. " She is standing
in her humble cottage^ just in her peasant''s
dress^ and her hair braided down her back in two
long pigtails tied with blue ribbons. She is
only a peasant, one of the people ; but Egmont
is so noble, and feels for them. Clarchen wor-
ships him ; and I am not astonished, for he is so
grand — like a god. The cottage is dark at first,
then the light is turned on fuller, and as
Egmont takes ofi" his cloak and stands before
Clarchen in all the splendour of his courtier's
dress and his manhood^s prime, one feels he is
worth loving, not only for his beauty but for his
"And Clarchen ?''
" Says the world has no happiness equal to
that of being Egmont^s beloved.""
" Clarchen was not Egmont's wife ?"
" Oh, no ; she was merely a girl whom he
'^That accounts for their affection. If they
had been married they would have wrangled
and jangled, just like any other respectable
" Then the play becomes sad," continues
Thyrza. ^' Alba is jealous of Egmont^s renown
and plots against him and entraps him. You
see him ride up to the Duke^s palace on his
182 BROWN AS A BERRY.
favourite horse — such a pet ! he dismounts and
passes his hand lovingly over its mane. Alba,
all the while, is looking on from a window
above, and in another moment his generous foe
has gone mirthfully, unsuspectingly to his fate.
Alba offers Egmont his life if he will change his
principles. And Egmont, though so fond of
living, will not be saved at the expense of his
honour. Poor Clarchen ! She tries to save
him, but what can a little peasant girl do ?
After she hears the news Egmont is to die, the
scene opens in her cottage again. She enters
with a lighted lamp in her hand, which, as it is
the only light in the theatre, shows out dis-
tinctly. But, ah ! what is the use of telling
you, monsieur ? You will laugh and say it is
foolish sentiment,''^ interrupting herself, and
whisking the heads off several unoffending daisies
with her whip.
" I can assure you I am deeply interested,
mademoiselle,^^ returns Ferrier. '^ I can guess
how the play ends. Egmont, at the last
moment, when his head is on the block, escapes.
Clarchen and he are married, and live happy
'^ No. Well, she places the lamp in the
window, to let Brackenburg see she waits for
him. He is a burgher and her devoted lover.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 153
Presently lie comes, and slie hears there is no
hope of rescuing Egmont. Then she poisons
herself ; and Egmont, as he lies sleeping, sees the
spirit of Clarchen holding a crown of laurels
over his bead. He goes to die as the sun rises
and the dawn spreads over the sky, and the
Platz is illumined by its rays. It was splendid V
drawing a long breath.
" What sort of a life can you have had to take
so ranch interest in a man who has been dead
long ago ?"
" I have been happy enough. Then after the
play we had a grand supper in the back room,
where M. Paul and madame make wigs, and
plaits, and curls, and cushions for the hair.
They send quantities over to London. ■''
" You^U spoil your complexion,^' says Ter-
rier, abruptly. ^' Why don't you put on your
" Oh, there is no fear of spoiling my com-
plexion," she laughs. ^^ It would be impossible
to do that. I am so brown already that a little
more sunburn does not matter — and then I don't
freckle, which is a good thing. Freckles are so
'^ I am rather partial to freckles," he returns.
'^ They are generally the sign of a smooth skin.
All young ladies ought to take care of their
184 BROWN AS A BERRY.
complexion; part of their stock-in-trade^ you
^^ But I am not a young lady/''
" What are you then ? A female V
" Oh, hateful word \" she rejoins, indignantly.
" Woman, spelt in capitals ? No ? Perhaps
you would wish to be termed a young person ?
No, again ? Well, I'm blest if I know, and it is
too hot to-day to exercise one's brains much,'^
stretching himself along the parapet lazily.
" Oh, my prophetic soul, it is hot ! Jove !
You'll not find it very cheerful at Carmylie.
There are only the fisher folks in the way of
" But I shall see you, shall I not ?" says she^,
'^ Why, yes, if it is conducive to your happi-
ness, you'll see me pretty often, as we are going
to live in the same house for the next year."
" A year ? — twelve whole months ?"
" It will soon go, mademoiselle. Are not
you sorry that, instead of ' coming out,' as girls
generally do at your age, you have got to work ?
I daresay you have moaned over the parties and
fineries you have lost."
'^ You see I never knew what they were like,
and one cannot miss what one has never had. I
was brought up to work, and I am not ashamed of
BROWN AS A BERRY. 185
it. There is nothing but what is honourable in
work^ and I have got a pair of hands/^
" Let^s have a look at this pair of hands that
are so able and willing to work/"*
Thyrza pulls off her gloves^ and Terrier takes
her slender fingers into his own broad palm.
" No rings T' he asked, interrogatively ; ^^ in-
deedj no earrings, either ?"
" No, I don't like them.''
"By-and-by, some one will come and put a
band of plain gold round this little thifd finger
of the left hand, and you will promise to be
faithful and true, and will follow his fortunes
over the world. So you are going to earn your
own livelihood with these morsels of hands ?
Why, I could break them to bits. Don't move
them away. I have a curiosity to look at
them. How brown and sunburned they
" Matching my face," she replies, gravely and
" This is the line of life, here is the line of
fortune, and there is the line of intellect. Pro-
perly you ought to give the fortune-teller a piece
of money to cross your palm with. Have you
any with you ?"
" No, I have none."
'^ This will do as well/' feeling in his pocket
186 BROWN AS A BERRY.
for a sovereign among some loose coins. Tlien
he crosses her hand with the gold^ Thyrza not
laughing or giggling, but looking on very quietly
" Monsieur, move the pony^s head. He is
going to eat my flowers. I think some time or
other I should like to be a nurse in a hospital.
Madame Paul took me over the hospital of S.
Sulpice at Villios. The Sisters of Charity had
such calm, quiet, holy faces, with no earthly
passions imprinted on them. When — oh, mon-
sieur, what are you doing to my hands T'
" Reading your fortune from the lines. Go
on, mademoiselle. When '^
" When I am tired of the world, I shall go
there, I think. ''^
^' And give Heaven the dregs of your life, after
the freshness and innocence have been rubbed
off. A real woman^s creed that — coquette
while that amusement can be practised, then
devote for the rest of the time. But you were
never fitted for S. Sulpice. To begin with, you
would have all the fellows breaking their legs
and arms to be nursed by you, of which little
game the good Sisters would not approve, and
you would be continually in hot water : you
were meant to be a man^s companion, and not
to go through life single file."
BROWN AS A BERRY. 187
^' If I was loved as Egmont loved Clarclien,
I should not mind any amount of suffering
" That is to say^ for a few hours of perfect
happiness^ you would endure a life of misery. A
dangerous idea for a man ; a doubly dangerous
one for a woman. There, mademoiselle/'' relin-
quishing her hands, " I read long life and mo-
derate fortune. DonH have that foolish notion
any longer in your mind. There is one law for
the man by which he always comes off scot
free, and another for the woman by which she
is without fail condemned. That thought of
yours is precisely what leads people to the
" To the bad ?" she inquires.
" Don't you understand me ? It signifies
betting and racing, and gambling, and spending
money on everything we ought not to spend it
on, generally winding up with not a penny
to bless oneself with, and a ruined constitution."
" Did you ever do that, monsieur ?"
" Well^ there are not many things I have not
had a try at in my time, and I wish now I had
let a few of them alone."
" Ah, but what would it signify if I went to
the bad ?" says she, defiantly. " Who would
cry for me^ or put on mourning if I died to-
188 BROWN AS A BERRY.
morrow ? I am of as mucli importance in the
world as this spray of mountain-ash flower/^
rising and throwing into the river a tuft of
" You don^t know what you are talking
about/'' returns Ferrier. ^^ It is absurd to say it
would not matter. I^ for one^ should be sorry
to see a girl like you — I don^t say a nice girl, but
simply a girl like you — spoil her future^ when it
lies with herself to make it a prosperous one.''"'
He is careful not to praise^ nor to flatter^ nor
to compliment her in any one way^ as she stands
leaning over the broad low parapet, her hat in
her hand, the dark blue habit falling in graceful
curves round her slim ligure, her face and eyes
glowing with life, looking pretty enough in the
wavering tesselated lights and shadows to have
tempted S. Anthony himself to forswear celi-
bacy and his hermit^s cell. There is a long
pause ; Thyzra is silent. The lowing of the oxen;
the hum of insect life ; the chirping of the birds ;
the roar of the river from the rough waters, make
music on the ear in the sultry hush of the sun-
steeped, hot midsummer day. There is not a
breath of air stirring : the wind is too lazy to
waft the perfume of the meadow down from the
opposite side of the stream, or break the rain-
bow tinted foam bubbles at the sandy margin
BROWN AS A BERRY. 189
by the arum lilies. The vspray of rowan flower
floats like a feather in mid-air_, hovering gently
above the bog, by the grim grey kelpie^s head,
in whose grinning month a fern has taken root
and is growing luxuriantly ; then it slowly de-
scends on to the water's surface, where it is
caught by contrary currents from sundry tiny
cascades of mountain burns, running down the
red sandstone rocks to the river from the hills.
It sails along smoothly under the shadow of
the ivy-clad trees, gets into trouble and threatens
to be swamped when the bed becomes rough and
rocky, almost becalmed by a shelving promon-
tory, is righted by a faint pufi" of wind, and
finally is borne peacefully and tranquilly out of
sight upon the bosom of a deep pool.
" The poor little tempest-tossed bark has got
safely into port,'''' says Terrier, at length. " I
watched it with some anxiety."
" Monsieur, what time is it, please V she
asks, somewhat sharply.
" Not quite three o'clock."
^^ I must go back to Lillieshill now."
" I am going there too."
" There is a short way by a path along the
river side. It is impossible for monsieur to
" I intend to accompany mademoiselle on the
190 BROWN AS A BERRY.
road to Lillicsliill. Did you want to get rid of
" I thought monsieur was tired of my society/''
says she, candidly, '' so do not come out of civility
to me. I can go home by myself/'
" It suits me better to walk with you/^ he
returns, quietly. " How about mounting ? Will
the pony stand while I put you up T'
'' I don't think he will. But if you will hold
his head I will get on myself.^''
Terrier brings the pony closer to the parapet,
on which Thy rz a, her habit gathered round her,
is standing. She runs along a few yards, and is
preparing to give a jump of delight, when Terrier
drags her down by both wrists, and catching her
in his arms, lifts her bodily on to the pony.
" Are you mad V he cries, grasping the reins,
while Thryza hits June Rose sharply on the off
flank, making the half- thoroughbred mare rear
and plunge. " I never saw such insensate folly.
Perhaps you think it fine and spirited to show
off like that r'
" Monsieur, you have taken an unpardonable
liberty ,'' she says, with flashing eyes.
" You took an unpardonable liberty with your-
self. One step backwards and you would have
been killed. It made me giddy to look at you,
BROWN AS A BERRY. 191
and if you had fallen over^ I should have been
had up for manslaughter/'
" Pouf V rejoins Thyrza, with a gay laugh.
'^ And if it had been^ it is only death at the
worst. A hundred years hence, when two or
three old bones are all that remain of me, it will
not matter whether I broke my neck or lived to
threescore and ten. It is all the same in the
end. One must die sooner or later. Only I
should like to enjoy myself, and have a little fun
Terrier slackens the reins, and she and he
go up the hill together towards Lillieshill, the
small terrier trotting behind them.
DON^T like to hear you talk in that fool-
hardy way/^ resumes Terrier^ when they
have climbed the brae^ and are upon the high
road. " It is — how shall I say it ? — not proper
conversation for a young lady.^^
" That is just why I hate being a girl/^ returns
Thyrza. ^' If I had been a man I should not
have been bothered about the proprieties, and
sitting up pretty all day long, and behaving
myself like a young lady." The last words she
pronounces with intense disgust. ^' Bah ! If I
had been a man I could have gone into com-
" I might have taken you out to China with
me as a clerk. What a pity you are not a boy !"
" Is it not ? I suppose it would not do to
dress up in man^s clothes and cut my hair short ?
No one would ever find it out.''
" No, hardly," says Ferrier, biting the corners
BROWN AS A BERRY. 193
of his lips to restrain his laughter. What an
innocent little thing she is, unless she puts it
on ; if she does_, it certainly does credit to her
stage powers. " Well, go in for being a lady
medical — Dr. Thyrza Rutherfurd, M.D. ! How
■would that sound ? Ah ! I forgot. You have
no nerve. If you could not help me to bandage
the Italian lad^s head, how would you face the
dissecting rooms ? But, of course, you will
marry. Have you ever thought about that ?^^
" Occasionally, monsieur. But I don^t think
I shall. The person I liked might not care for
me, and I would never marry unless I was very
fond of the man. Besides, who would marry a
plain penniless girl like me ?^^
" Ah, to be sure, it is not probable. Money
and beauty are such essentials. What do you
mean by ' being fond ' of a person V — giving a
look of admiration in spite of himself at the
outlines of Thyrza^s figure, showing clear against
the brilliant blue sky.
" Oh ! loving with heart and soul, better
than everyone and everything else in the world."
" Charming in theory, the reverse in practice.
For how long T^
'* For ever."
'' What is your definition of ' for ever.' Until
next month ?"
VOL. I. 13
194 BROWN AS A BERRY.
'' No, all one's life/'
"What would you do for a person you loved?
Cut off your hair ? I know you are proud of it.
The Chinese mandarin with the red ball would
make it into a famous pigtail/"*
^'^ Cut off my hair V she repeats, scornfully ;
'^ I would cut off my foot if it were necessary."
" You might find it inconvenient to go through
life with only one foot. Your hair, teeth, com-
plexion, youth, are so many valuable articles in
the marriage market ; as you lose them, your
value decreases. But could you put up with
the vagaries and fads of a jealous person T'
" If he loved me, and I loved him, yes/'
" How do you know the person would be he ?
It might be an old maid with the orthodox
" I took it for granted."
" Mademoiselle Thyrza, I pity you !" says
" Why ?" she asks, astonished.
" You are so completely devoid of common
sense and prudence. Your head is stuffed full
of romance and sentiment. Common sense is a
better gift than genius; with it, and tact as
ballast, you will get along easily. Love, such as
you describe it, does not exist ; it is an exploded
notion. Two asses — don't be offended — two de-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 195
luded asses swearing vows to adore each otlier to
all eternity, belong to a past generation."
" It was a much nicer one_, monsieur."
" No, we are far wiser. Love now-a-days is
resolvable into the amount of pounds, shillings
and pence a man or woman is prepared to bid
in exchange for a bundle of silk, frivolity, sim-
pering nothingness, false hair, rouge, pearl-powder
and feminine spite, or conglomeration of Poolers
clothes, ambition, vanity, which go to make up a
belle or dandy of the first water. If a little
genuine liking can be thrown into the bargain,
all the better."
" If I don^t meet my ideal, I shall never
" You are worse off than the bundle of silk ;
for you seem to have ideas of your own."
" I wish I could do as I liked."
" Well, suppose you can, let me hear the
" Make myself very pretty."
" Oh, come now, you don't expect me to
believe you think yourself ugly. It^'s a nice
opportunity for paying a compliment ; but I
never pay compliments."
" That must be as you like, monsieur. I
should have golden hair and blue eyes "
''And a complexion like the wax model in a
196 BROWN AS A BERRY.
barber^s shop. I abominate fair women. They
are generally vicious,, with vile tempers^ and
either become dried up and shrivelled after
thirty, or else inordinately stout.^^
'^ Monsieur admires dark people then ?"
'' I admire a pretty fair woman and a pretty
dark woman; it^s all the same to me, as long as
they are good-looking. I don^t object to some-
thing rich and dark'' glancing at Thyrza^s
pomegranate cheeks ;^" but most of all I admire
a sensible woman .'^
^< Why ?"
^^ Because they are so seldom seen.^'
" Oh, I should like to do something really
'^ Much better cultivate the art of dressing
and restrain your imagination. It never pays.
Allow me to follow out your theory of love in a
cottage. How would you like to bring up a
large family on next to nothing ? Think of the
realities ; maid-of-all-work in shoes down at
heels and slatternly gown ; continual smell of
soapsuds about the house ; children in chronic
state of toothache : I think you would then
prefer love in the ahstract, as the discreet
Edinburgh damsel said.
'^ I am glad I am not your wife," exclaims
BROWN AS A BERRY. 197
Thyrza, " but if slie had any of your favourite
quality, common sense, she would keep you in
" Are you ?" says Terrier, much amused.
" But don't distress yourself on my account. I
shall never have a wife for two reasons. I don't
believe in women, and if I did, I can't afford to
marry. But if you were my wife, you would be
a good little thing, and sew on my shirt buttons,
and fill my pipe with tobacco if I were too tired
or too lazy to do it for myself.""
" Not 1" says Thyrza, tossing her head. " I
should do nothing of the kind. I should cut
holes in your stockings, and leave you to stitch
them up yourself.'^
" No, you would not," persists Terrier, find-
ing it impossible to resist laughing : — the more
he laughs, the glummer Thyrza looks — " al-
though that is what we are coming to; but it
wont be quite in my day. Now, mademoiselle,
ni prove to you in three words that if you and
I were husband and wife you would do exactly
what I told you. Please to suppose for a
minute that we are married and are Mr. and
Mrs. Ferrier. Did not you say a moment ago
that you would marry no one unless you loved
him, heart and soul V
198 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" Well, yes, monsieur/' answers Thyrza,
hesitatingly, unable to deny her own assertion.
" And that if you loved him you would do
anything for him — would not even stick at cut-
ting off hair or foot, if necessary ? Conse-
quently, if you married me you would love me
intensely, and if you would perform such heroic
and out-of-the-way actions, you could not refuse
the little commonplace ones I have mentioned/'
"Mais, monsieur ''
" I will give you an example of what it would
be. If we were married, I should call you
Thyrza and you would call me Jack/'
'' Mais oui, c'est vrai. Monsieur Jacques.
Well, it is a fact ; looking at it, of course, in
the light monsieur suggests."
" Of course," says Ferrier, " in the imaginary
light. But if you were Mrs. Ferrier you would
not say monsieur, but simply Jack. Confound
that dog Wasp, he's always up to some mis-
Wasp, seeing one of his detested and arch
enemies — a cat — bolts after it across the road
into a cottage, upsetting two fat children in his
excited movements, who immediately set up a
direful squall. He stumbles up against an old
woman engaged in the occupation of winding ^ir«5>
and stands on the very points of his hind heels
BROWN AS A BERRY. 199
barking and growling, with every hair on his
body quivering with emotion and exasperation,
while the cat has taken refuge on the mantel-
shelf, having knocked down an image of the
Duke of Wellington in china, on a fearfully
and wonderfully prancing horse, which is thereby
smashed to atoms. Out comes the old woman
in white mutch, red and black checked shawl
crossed over her chest, and grey linsey woolsey
petticoat, to the door, picks up the unlucky
infants, bestowing hearty cuffs upon them by
way of cheering them a little, and pours forth
a volley of abuse at Terrier in the very broadest
Lowland Scotch, which is complete gibberish to
both Thyrza and himself. From within pro-
ceed sounds of snarls and growls ; the cat is
spitting and swearing ad libitum ; Wasp has got
on the top of the chest of drawers and is within
an ace of touching the cat^s whiskers. It is a
stupendous moment of excitement for Wasp ; but
just as he makes a snap at puss, which she
eatfuUy parries by a vicious dab at his black
nose. Terrier brings his triumph to an untimely
end, by catching him and lifting him down by
the scruff of his neck. It is a primitive little
cottage of two rooms, a but and a ben, contain-
ing dark, close box-beds. The floor is earthen,
without any pretence at boards ; some flaring
200 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Scripture prints and cheap valentines hang over
the mantelpiece ; bannocks are baking on a
girdle over a peat fire ; the rafters are filled
with newspapers ; bags of onions ; fishing-rods ;
a couple of guns_, and besides seem appa-
rently to be the receptacles for the family-
clothing. A cuckoo-clock ticks away in one
corner^ its hands creeping slowly over its old^
faded, painted face^ and a big Bible in a print
cover is on the window-sill. The spinning-wheel,
at which the woman was workings stands at the
fireside^ and a box of pirns or large reels of yarn
lies on the floor.
"What is your name?^^ asks Ferrier^, as she
is obliged to draw to a close from sheer want of
" Margaret Gow/^ is the reply.
"Wellj here's half-a-crown for you," says
Ferrier. " On whose property do you live ?"
" Carmylie/^ she returns^ considerably pacified.
" And it's a sair job I hae to gaither the baw-
bees till the rent, and that's true, sir. This is
an awfu' uncanny hoose, and sic cauld winds i^
the winter, and me sic troubled wi' the rheu-
matics and near dead wi' the teeth ache/''
" Well, 1^11 think over what can be done about
giving you a better floor."
" The lord keep me ! and will you be the new
BROWN AS A BERRY. 201
Laird of Carmylie ? Preserve us a,\ and me
gieing you yer kail through the reek that gait.
He's a bonny bit beast that/'' endeavouring to
pat Waspj who is delivering certain parting
growls of defiance,, and scratching up the dust
with his feet. But Wasp refuses the overtures
of peacCj and keeps close at Ferrier's heels. As
they move away the man who unloosened the
horse from the cart at the bridge appears with
the said cart and draws up at Gow's cottage.
He is a tall, powerfully built man, six feet two
or three in height, with shoulders like those of
a Hercules ; his face is slightly marked with
small-pox, and he has the peculiarity of only
possessing one arm.
" I believe that fellow is one of the biggest
poachers for miles round,'' exclaims Terrier.
" I never knew his name before, but I suspect he
is the son of that delightful Margaret Gow, and
those are his wife and children welcoming him
home. How he gets his living is a mystery to
me ; chiefly by eating his neighbour's game,
I am told."
" Now, Mrs. Ferrier," continues Jack, " where
did I leave off in our little conversation ? You
must try to think that we are married, and living,
shall we say in London? I am in business and
come home at night, done up with the day's
202 * BROWN AS A BERRY.
work. After dinner I sav, Thyrza dear_, will
you hand me the tobacco ? I am sure you would
not refuse. Any one whom you love would be
your master. Can you love intensely 1" laying
his hand on the reins of the pony and stopping
" No, monsieur, I don't believe I could/' she
answers saucily. *' I shall leave that for the man
" Oh_, you story-telling girl, when you have
been admiring the devotion of Clarchen for
Egmont ! That's the way with you, is it — say
one thing and believe another ? But there,
mademoiselle, I wish you a better fate than to
marry a man like me. I'll tell you what ; take
my advice and go in for an eligible. You are
coming to our place. I'll ask a few down in the
autumn for you to choose from."
" I shan't go in for anyone," replies Thyrza.
" If they like to go in for me all well and good."
" There spoke sweet seventeen. At that
period you say, who shall I have ? When you
are thirty-seven instead of seventeen, you will
wish you had gone in for the eligibles."
^' Never : better be an old maid a hundred
thousand times over than lose one's self-respect
by marrying a man whom one did not love."
" You will find self-respect a poor substitute
BROWN AS A BERRY. 203
for the support of a husband^s affection wlieu all
your friends and schoolfellows have settled down
comfortable in the world with their families^ and
you are necessary to the happiness of no one.
A woman, at least a nice-minded woman, lives
chiefly in her affections. It is all very well to
hold those opinions in the bloom and spring-
time of your life. You should listen to
the experiences of a grey-headed man like
" Oh, bother the future V says Thyrza, smil-
ing ; her dark face dimpling with pleasure.
" Perhaps I shan^t live to be old and ugly. I am
sure I shall be a hideous old woman, dark persons
do not make such pretty old people as fair ones
do. That is another advantage men have ; their
looks don^t signify at all.^^
" Consolation for me," returns Terrier, " If
I had a wife she should be a calm dignified
woman of unruffled demeanour ; exquisitely beau-
tiful, that is a sine qua non ; she must know the
price of everything ; be accomplished ; always
know the right thing ; be an angel of amiability ;
always well dressed," with a mischievous
glance at Thyrza^s collar, which is, as usual,
'' Monsieur desires perfection."
" Yes, that is why I shall never marry. My
204 BROWN AS A BERRY.
bea-u ideal is not in the flesh. But^ after all,
there^s nothing equal to a faithful friend —
" And, of all best things upon earth, I hold that a
faithful friend is the best.
For woman. Will, is a thorny flower ; it breaks, and
we bleed and smart."
Do you know the rest_, mademoiselle T'
^^ Monsieur quoting poetry?" asks Thyrza,
" A slip of the tongue, lapsus lingnce, as it
used to say in the old Eton grammar."
" We turn in here," says Thyrza, pausing at a
newly painted green gate, and trim lodge built
in imitation of a Swiss chalet, with balconies
running round the front, and lattice windows
designed more for their picturesque appearance
than the purpose of admitting light and air into
" Seriously," pursues Terrier, '^ you should
cultivate Mark. He is a real good fellow as
ever stepped the ground, sound in all points, and
free from vice. He does not even smoke too
Thyrza shakes her head. " I am a born old
" I have found you out, mademoiselle."
" How ? "
BROWN AS A BERRY. 205
" You talk for effect.''
" It was rather fun to shock you by making
you think I was fast/' she replies, " you did look
so scandalized and horrified. I used to delight
in telling Miss Holt all sorts of things. But
here are Mr. Mark and Mr. Lefroy. If you
want to win Mr. Lefroy's heart, praise the lodge
and say you noticed the elegant contrivance of
the pivot on which the hinge of the gate turns.
It is ^ entirely his own design.' "
"Well, Jack, glad to see you again. So you
have come at last/' says Mark, shaking hands
heartily with Ferrier. " I began to think that
you had stuck in the middle of the Suez Canal."
" I am very glad to be back in England too.
I should have been home sooner had it not been
that the engines of the steamer got out of order.
But I had a nice little continental tour and took
" How long have you been travelling alto-
gether ?" asks Mr. Lefroy.
" Nearly four months ; but then the vessel
broke down, and we were a number of weeks in
Bombay, besides my trip through Italy and
" Did you walk from Carmylie ? It must
have been warm work."
" Well, rather. I lost my way half a dozen
206 BROWN AS A BERRY.
times by taking wrong turnings at cross-roads.
Are there no sign-posts in Scotland ?''^
" Not in the neighbourliood of Lillieshill.^^
" We have only two lumbering carriage horses
at Carmylie, which the man and general help
informed me were engaged in some carting about
the fields. There remaining only an old pony, I
preferred walking to breaking my neck. Good
people are scarce, you know.^^
" Just so/' says Mr. Lefroy.
" How did the ponies I bought for you in
London turn out, Mark?'^
" Let me give you a word of warning, Mr»
" Yes ?'■' inquires Ferrier of Mr. Lefroy.
" Never be the person to buy a horse for a
friend, and never commission a friend to buy one
for you. It's never safe.'^
" Oh ! I don't know about that,'^ breaks in
Mark, ^^ it may do very well as a general rule,
but it does not apply to Ferrier and me."
" That's a nicish animal Mademoiselle is on,^'
observes Ferrier, examining its fetlocks, with the
light coming into his eyes, which is only seen in
an Englishman's when looking at a particularly
choice specimen of horse flesh, "would make a
good lady's hunter,"
" YeSj wouldn't it ?" replies Mark, pleased at
BKOWN AS A BEREY. 207
Ferrier's approbation. Few things gratify a
man more than to praise his judgment regarding
" YouVe picked up riding rather quickly,
mademoiselle/^ says Ferrier, with a critical glance
at Thyrza^s easy seat.
"Yesj thanks to Mr. Mark. It has been
such a treat. I never knew what living meant
until I rode June Rose."
'' You must have been pretty well employed,
what with painting and riding.'^
"We had nothing else to do, had we, Miss
Thyrza? I feel like a fish out of water without
my business to attend to, and read the money
market list in the papers just out of sheer force
of habit. Nice clean high action, has she not?^"*
" Yes, steps out well, and lifts her feet cleverly
from the ground.^^
" I see you are a chip of the old block, Mr.
Ferrier," pursues Mr. Lefroy. *^ There was
nothing Mr. Ferrier of Carmylie liked better
than to look over a lot of horses."
" Ah, yes," responds Jack, " the poor old
governor had a good eye for a horse."
" WeU, Mr. Ferrier, Luke and I were going
to have a look at the cattle before you came. I
dare say you don't trouble yourself about any-
thing in the agricultural line, or else it would
208 BROWN AS A BERRY.
give me great pleasure to show you my model
" By-the-by, Miss Thyrza, would you like to
dismount now ? I^]l take June Rose to the
stables for you as Smith is not here/''
Thyrza gives her horse to Mark, and Terrier
having no objection to urge, Mr. Lefroy leads
the way to his pet hobby, after a brief delay,
occasioned by the absence of Mark.
The situation of the model cowhouse has been
carefully chosen ; it is on a dry sheltered spot,
facing the south. The material used for building
is brick ; the roof is of variegated coloured slates.
The windows are lancet-shaped, like those of a
church or chapel, for which the cowhouse has occa-
sionally been mistaken, and they are of stained
glass. The walls are painted pink, with ventilators
in the ceiling. Pipes put all round provide for
heating the place in the winter, and the fittings
are of polished pine wood. The animals are
perfect of their sort ; gazelle-eyed Alderney cows,
almost as graceful in their proportions as deer ;
sleek, hornless, ^'^ Angus doddieSj" Ayrshire^ and
other varieties. The cattle intended for the
forthcoming agricultural show in England are in
another division of the building ; they are all of
one kind, the black Angus.
"That fellow there/^ says Mr. Lefroy, indi-
BROWN AS A BERRY, 209
eating a noble young bull, black as night, with
fiery eyes, beginning to show signs of restlessness
at the presence of strangers, " is going up to Bat-
tersea by-and-by. He will have his coat laid in
butter-milk for a fortnight beforehand, and will
travel in a padded carriage, with two men to
look after him."
'' He is a beauty and no mistake," answers
Jack, feeling called upon to make some observa-
" I am always remarkably brave when there
is a barrier between myself and the danger,"
says Mark, laughing, while Mr. Lefroy is engaged
in showing the good points and breeding of the
animal, and relating how he made more than
two hundred pounds in prize money the year
" I remember," remarks Terrier — '' I remember
reading an account in the English newspapers
some years ago of the rinderpest, which devas-
tated the country. Did you lose any cattle
'^ No, curiously enough, I never lost one."
*^ You were more fortunate then than most
people. What do you think your exemption
was owing to ?"
'^ I never allowed any stranger to enter the
cowhouse. Indeed, if her Majesty Queen Yic-
VOL, I. 14
210 BROWN AS A BERRY.
toria herself had begged me to allow her^ I
should have said^ that though as loyal a subject
as her Majesty possesses^ I could not consent to
her entrance. Then I kept up the system of
the cattle ; gave them oilcake and the best of
food^ while my neighbours weakened the con-
stitution of theirs by arsenicum and other dis-
infecting stuff. An acquaintance of mine who
reared the best Angus cattle I ever saw — ex-
cepting my own — built a hospital in readiness
and doctored the poor animals ; he lost every
head, and he took it so to heart that he was
never the same man afterwards. A small farmer
close by where he lived made no attempt at any
precautions, and like myself never had a single
animal attacked by the disease. Remarkable,,
very, was it not?^^
" Very remarkable !" responds Jack. " That
fellow looks as though he had a little temper of
'^ Oh, not in the least, I assure you,"*^ says Mr.
Lefroy, gazing with the rapt eyes of a fond lover
at the black Angus. " Jupiter is mild as a
lamb. He is too fat to be ill-natured. Come,
Jupiter, look up, there^s a pretty dear, and let
Miss Rutherfurd pat you."
In testimony of his meek qualities, Jupiter
puts his head between his knees, and lashes his
BROWN AS A BERRY. 211
sides witli his tail,, giving a tremendous roar, and
endeavours to paw the ground but is unable to
make much of this, the floor being paved with
*• Well, Mr. Terrier/' observes Mr. Lefroy
complacently, regarding the cowhouse, which has
cost him a long way over the tidy sum of a
thousand pounds, with its pointed pepper-box
turrets and its Gothic windows, " I do not say
it ostentatiously or presumptuously, but my cow-
house is the best in the three kingdoms ; " and,
after a brief pause, he adds, with a sigh of
perfect, unalloyed bliss, his cup of happiness being
filled to the brim, ^^ there is no doubt about it.''
" No one can dispute that,-" says Mark.
^^ Come now. Jack, we will go down to the house.
You must want pulling together, and I can give
uncle's sherry a good character. It has been to
India and back to season it."
" Ah, you'll not beat my sherry in all Scotland,
Mr. Ferrier. You had better bring the dog with
you into the drawing-room. I have just had the
place newly painted from top to toe, and if you
leave him outside he'll scrape all the paint off
the door," chimes in Mr. Lefroy, who is always
ready to sing his own praises, and though one of
the vainest, is also one of the best tempered of
212 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Lillieshill is looking its best when tliey reach
the front door ; the warm sunshine gilding the
old house and its " ivy-green ;''■' the close shaven
velvet lawn, studded with flower-beds of scarlet
geraniums, yellow calceolarias, blue lobelias, and
verbenas, and ribbon-borders of every tint, all
out in the most brilliant bloom, while some
peacocks strut along, spreading out their iris-
hued tails like fans for the admiration, according
to the Darwinian theory, of their assembled
partners and families.
Afternoon tea is set out on a small three-
legged table in the conservatory, into which Mr.
Lefroy escorts Ferrier, through a door opening
on the lawn, for the express convenience, Mr.
Lefroy declares, of burglars and other light-
fingered members of society.
" Thyrza dear, will you pour out tea ?^^ asks
Miss Lefroy. ^' I feel rather tired with my
Thyrza at once complies, and Mark makes
himself serviceable in handing the cups. As he
stands beside Thyrza by a tall New Zealand fern
under an arch of crimson Virginia-creeper hang-
ing in thick flowers and curving tendrils. Jack
thinks what a well-matched couple they are ; he
fair and she dark. A good contrast to each
other, and Mark is just the right age for Thyrza.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 213
Mark, it is true, is older than Jack by some
three or four years, but Terrier always feels con-
siderably the elder of the two.
Jack regards his friend almost tenderly ; his
true and faithful friend after the lapse of many
years, from boyhood to manhood; no change in
the steady real affection which has grown up
with time to be solid and enduring as the beauti-
ful friendship of David and Jonathan. He
knows that whatever trouble or evil hours may
come upon him there will always be a warm
corner in Luke Mark's heart for Jack Ferrier ;
he knows that though the whole world should
turn against him, this friend will always welcome
him, believe in him, swear to his honour and to
his truth, and put complete and absolute trust in
him. All else may turn to gall and bitterness ;
all else change ; all else forsake him, yet Mark,
the companion of his schoolboy pleasures and
escapades, of his shooting expeditions for big
game up the country in China; of his business
speculations in Shanghai, will cleave to him :
will — should occasion require such assistance —
spend his last pound to help him out of his
difficulty. Jack is certain of all this, for he has
proved it. He has not a thought but what is
shared with Mark ; there is nothing underhand
about Jack. Sooner than ^' keep things dark/'
214 BROWN AS A BERRY.
or live like Damocles with a sword hanging over
his head, he would endure any pain^ however
severe it might be at the time, and plain-speaking
is one of the attributes which has often made
him eremies and got him into trouble. Mark
he considers fantastic in many of his notions :
was it not peculiar for a young man of three
and twenty to adopt an orphan as Mark had
done? Most men of that age prefer to spend
their money in wild oats and upon themselves.
But then it was one of Mark's fancies, which
expression to Terrier, who imagines he knows
every shade and turn of Luke's face and character,
accounts for any outbreak. From the first he had,
so to speak, looked after Mark. If Luke got
into scrapes at school. Jack most frequently bore
the blame; if Mark had an imposition to write.
Jack usually wrote the greater part, and read the
remainder aloud for Mark's benefit. If Jack
had a " grub-box " from home — they were like
angels' visits, few and far between, for Jack was
little thought of save as a tiresome lad who must
be clothed and fed — Mark got the lion's share.
Jack fought Mark's battles for him, punched the
heads of those who attempted to tyrannize over
the somewhat weakly and delicate boy, and was
rarely without the ornament of a black eye>
gained in Mark's defence. Mark, on his part.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 215
spoiled by his indulgent uncle and aunt at
Lillieshill, made much of and adored at every
turn, took all Jack''s services as his right and
a matter of course. He munched Jack^s tarts
and spent his sixpences right royally ; next to
his mother, Terrier was most deeply attached to
Mark. When they grew up and went out to
Shanghai, the younger, still as formerly, appa-
rently led, and in reality got the roughest of the
work. Mark did not desire to give dross in
exchange for gold, which is, ah ! such a common
bargain; his purse is always open to Jack if
he wishes, and he values Ferrier^s good opinion
more than that of any other living man. Jack^s
standard of right and wrong is that to which
Mark pins his faith and swears by. He has only
one secret from Jack, and that one is the exis-
tence of Lilith Mark. If Jack knew of the
deception that has been practised on him by his
most intimate friend for years : if he guessed
that Lilith was Mark's wife, away would go all
their friendship, all the pleasant hours they had
spent over their pipes and B, and S.'s; there
would be no more fishing, and shooting, and
riding together. Jack would never forgive the
fraud ; over and over again Mark has heard
him say he could forgive anything excepting
meanness and deceit ; he would simply not
216 BROWN AS A BERRY.
speak to him again, and -would cut Mm
However, this disagreeable idea need not be
contemplated_, for by no chance nor possibility-
can Jack ever find out, unless Thyrza betrays
him, and he has settled that matter to his entire
satisfaction, so he is quite safe and there is no
fear of it leaking out.
" Miss Lefroy, can anyone be handsome who
is freckled ?" asks Thyrza abruptly, pouring out
another cup of tea for Mark. Of all domestic
avocations there are not many so pretty and
becoming to a woman as that one of making tea.
The attitude of raising the arm to lift the tea-
pot shoTTS off waist and bust to advantage, and
if ordinarily good-looking and possessed of a
tolerable figure, almost any girl will look charm-
ing at the head of her table, more especially
w^hen the table is a little round three-legged
one, and the background is of Virginia-creeper.
Then, afternoon tea has none of the formality
about it that appertains to the late dinner ; there
are such convenient opportunities for bewitchingly
simple costumes ; and how much can be made out
of handing a cup of tea, and the apparently
innocent question of whether you take both
cream and sugar ? Hardly anybody does now-
a-days, but it is wonderful what an aid towards
BROWN AS A BERRY. 217
cementing intimacy the discovery of similarity of
tastes even in so small a thing as cream or sugar
may be. One of the pleasantest hours of the
day in a country house is when every one assem-
bles for afternoon tea. It is agreeable in the
autumn to sit in a corner that was evidently
created by the various architects of Lillieshill for
" spoony " people^ and talk nonsense over tea
and thin bread and butter_, or the delicious
sponge cake which almost melts in your mouthy
made by Mr. Lefroy's sovereign and paragon of
cooking excellence^ the Lillieshill cook ; or to
lounge in the summer under one of the fine old
beech trees which have charitably been provided
with massive and wide trunks, while the rooks
caw odd songs to each other_, which^ though
discordant and noisy in our ears, may yet sound
very melodious to Mrs. or Miss Rook.
" Freckles ! " says Miss Lefroy, ^' no, my dear,
I should think not.^'
^^ Mr. Ferrier said he thought they were very
" Oh no/' rejoins Ferrier, laughing, " I merely
said I rather liked them."
" Do you know any one with freckles, Jack ?
The only person I ever knew who admired them
was a man who told me he was partial to freckles
and red hair, and besides that he rather affected
218 BROWN AS A BERRY.
squints. It afterwards turned out he was en-
gaged to a girl who squinted and he married
her. Jack clearly intends to marry a squinting
young woman with lots of freckles and a meagre
supply of light sandy hair."
" Oh, nonsense, Mark. I don^t mean to
marry. I think I see myself going up the
church aisle to execution, with my face very
long and pale, my step slow — I should go as
slowly as I could — and my hands crossed in
front as if they were handcuffed."
" It would be a poor compliment to the bride
to be welcomed by a lugubrious bridegroom."
" I wish Carmylie was in anything like the
order in which you have Lillieshill/'' pursues
Ferrier. ^' My poor father's death occurred so
suddenly and so soon after that of my brother
that all energy seems to have been knocked out
of my mother, and things have been left to take
care of themselves."
" Ah, I pique myself a little about Lillieshill,^'
returns Mr. Lefroy ; ^' but I manage the farm
and garden entirely on my own plan, and though
I say it myself, you will not find a place in
Europe or America better arranged. It is par-
ticularly well managed ; particularly so."
" I am disappointed in Carmylie. No doubt
it looked better when properly kept, yet I can
BROWN AS A BERRY. 219
hardly fancy how my father could have preferred
it to Blackbeck in Lincolnshire/^
" He only lived there during the shooting
season,, and he liked it because it was near moors
swarming with grouse. After the 10th of De?
cember he went down to Melton Mowbray
for the hunting. But certainly Carmylie is
not the house it was during your father^s
" I don^t believe the game is anything par-
ticular^, and the villagers poach in broad daylight
and think nothing of it. That William Gow
coolly walks through the avenue as a short cut to
the preserves. The keeper is afraid of him^ and
so he goes unmolested."'^
" I know the man/^ says Mr. Lefroy, with
interest; '^ comes of a shocking bad lot. He was
a Pendicler — that is^ his ancestors got the land
their cottage is built on rent free^ in considera-
tion of reclaiming some fields from the heather.
Gow pays only a nominal rent. Originally these
pendiclers were of the very scum of the earth
— the ofF-scourings of creation.^'
" Well, Gow has a rascally countenance ; but
^ he has a stunning figure."
" He loafs about the country, sometimes
hawking pedlar's goods, and sometimes he drives
a fish cadger's cart. I know he poaches in the
220 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Lillieshill woods, but Vve never been able to get
hold of bim/^
" Is this a sociable neighbourhood, Miss Le-
froy ?''"' asks Jack, turning to her. " It seems a
thinly-populated one as regards cottages. I
don^t think I passed above a dozen on my way
" There are plenty of gentlemen^s seats, but
very few of the owners live in them. When
they are inhabited, it is almost always only in
the shooting season, and then they are tenanted
by rich English merchants. Country houses
are very expensive things to keep up properly,
especially if you live any distance from a town.
How far is Carmylie from Queensmuir ?''
" A little more than twelve miles. ^''
" That is a long way from a post-town. Car-
mylie is a dear place to live in, and the grounds
and garden alone would require a small fortune
expended on them in the shape of gardeners and
under-gardeners. It must be very awkward
having to send such a distance for your letters
and household groceries. How do you manage
about your coals ?"
" The farmers have a clause inserted in their
leases whereby they are compelled, so many
times a year, to cart coals from Queensmuir to
BROWN AS A BERRY. 221
" Sometliing of the kind is quite necessary.
In Tvinter you will be obliged to lay in a store of
provisions^ for the road through the glen is
sometimes blocked up with snow and is quite
impassable for weeks. But perhaps you will not
remain over the winter with Mrs. Terrier. '^
" That I cannot tell at present ; but certainly
not if I can help it.''"'
" Mrs. Terrier, I daresay, feels nervous occa-
sionally, being so far distant in case of emer-
gency from a medical man. We are better off
in that respect at Lillieshill, for we are only six
miles from Queen smuir, and we think nothing of
that. You have had a sad home-coming, Mr.
Ferrier. We were so sorry to lose your father
and brother, both such fine hale handsome men
" It has not been what I looked forward to,^'
returns Ferrier, briefly.
The spirit moves Mr. Lefroy to offer some
consoling observation to Jack, but he does not
know in what terms to couch his sympathy. If
it had been Jupiter or Europa seized with pneu-
monia, he would have found plenty to say. But
this is such a different subject, and one in which
his feelings and his heart are not so absorbed.
" Bless me ! dear me ! dear me ! It is indeed
a melancholy thing, very, particularly so. But
222 BROWN AS A BERRY.
you know these — eh ! hum ! — these little acci-
dents will happen^ and one cannot prevent
" Very true/^ answers Jack, moving to show
Thyrza a photograph of the house up the Yang-
tse-Kiang in which Mark and he lived in China.
" What a large house^ monsieur V^
" Yes_, we found our diggings too big for us,
so we divided the one great room into several
little ones. Not half bad^ was it ?^'
" I have the pagoda one too, Jack.^-*
" So I see. It^s a capital photograph. There
is a temple right at the top of the rock, made-
moiselle^ most beautifully ornamented with car-
vings. A flight of a thousand steps leads up to
it, cut out in the solid stone, and it is a ticklish
affair to climb up as the rock is pretty nearly
perpendicular,, and the river, which is very deep
at that point, flows below. Are there many
foxes about here, Mr. Lefroy ?"
'' Abundance and to spare. I am not a
hunting man myself, and I prefer pheasants to
foxes. Sometimes the keeper shoots a fox by
" This must be a stiff* country to ride over
with the hills, but there are no hedges and com-
paratively few ditches.^^
" Not many hunt ; so few can afford the time
BROWN AS A BERRY. 223
and the money for tlie horses. But there is a
subscription pack of hounds, and if you like to
subscribe the Master will be very glad to gain
" Not worth while for all the time I shall be
at Carmylie. I had nearly forgotten Charity's
message. It is about mademoiselle^s coming to
Carmylie. Will you all come to-morrow to
afternoon tea and croquet ?^''
" I don't think we have any engagement/'
says Miss Lefroy. "So we shall be delighted to
accept her invitation ; unless, indeed, the day
should be hopelessly wet.^'
" That is a thing which we can never
depend upon. Why 'does not some one invent
an apparatus for making sunshine and fine
weather to order ? It is one beauty of living in
the tropics, you can count on a long tract of fine
weather right ahead," replies Jack.
" I hope it wont rain. To arrange an open-
air party, and then for the rain to appear to
spoil it all is so very annoying and disheart-
" Well, Miss Lefroy, as I wish to get back in
time for dinner, I must be moving.''
" Wont you dine with us ?"" she asks.
" Thanks verv much, but not to-nig^ht. Good-
bye, mademoiselle, you will see to-morrow what
224 BROWN AS A BERRY.
a TvikI place your lines are cast in for the
" If you wont be induced to remain, Jack, Fll
come part of the way with you/'
"All right, Luke/'
And the two men walk off, both smoking like
chimneys. " Blessed be the man who invented
sleep," said Sancho Panza, Don Quixote's amusing
follower. And blessed, thrice blessed be the me-
mory of Sir Walter Raleigh who introduced the
use of the soothing weed, echo the votaries of ni-
cotine. The man who smoketh not is to be pitied.
He may, it is true, save some few shillings but he
loses more than he gains. The non-smoker can
form no conception of the delicious moments of
contemplation — the pleasant reveries — the untold
bliss contained in a '' Tip caf — the enchantment
which spreads out with the grey vapour — the
clever ideas and happy thoughts which flash
across the brain, while the smoker, contented and
at peace with all the world, puffs out clouds
under the influence of Raleigh's tranquillizing
discovery. And if the man is to be pitied, how
much more that man's wife ! No pipe of peace
to be smoked in which the domestic troubles
and vexations, all aggravations and that odious
"little bill" (still unpaid) , vanish away with the
fumes of the tobacco, and irate Benedict returns
BROWN AS A BERRY. 225
with the house of his mind swept and garnished
from the evil spirit^ even ready to indulge his
offending spouse with a new bonnet or to look
with favourable eyes on Worth^s last account for
that duck of a gown.
" Snug box that; Luke/'' says Jack^ looking
back at Lillieshill, lying in the afternoon sun
among the green lace -like leaves of its beech
woods. " I suppose it will be yours some time
or other. What a lucky fellow you are V^
"Why, yes; unless Uncle Richard should
" Jove ! you don^t think he will ?"
'^Well, one can never be certain of those old
boys. They often end by marrying girls of
eighteen. You don't catch them taking any
much older. They think women are not like
wine, and don't improve by keeping. But I
should imagine he would not. It would break
Aunt Fanny's heart_, and no other woman would
let him fiddle about the housekeeping as she does.''
" Luke, what becomes of fellows who are
bankrupts? One continually sees in the list of
sequestrations, so-and-so is smashed, and there is
" Don't know, I am sure. Oh, they must of
course get something to do. But that reminds
me — are you goiug to keep Carmylie on your
VOL. I. 15
226 BROWN AS A BERRY.
liands and settle there^ or let it aud go out to
China again T'
'' That depends upon circumstances. To begin
with, Carmylie must be sold at once. There is
no question about that. It seems my father had
not long bought it before the bank in which
most of his money was placed collapsed, and he
sold part of the moors and mortgaged the rest;
so the creditors come upon it."*^
" Whew V says Mark. " What was the mort-
'^ j845,000. That is covered by the property.
But my father must have been infatuated, for
instead of resting content and living quietly, he
went in for horses and jockeys and trainers.
There are heaps of debt, but I have only been
at home a couple of days, and have not had
time to give more than a cursory glance at his
papers, and cannot tell yet what the sum total
" My dear fellow, it^s a pretty go.''"'
" Yes, that it just is ! I should not care a
hang, but there is my mother, who has been
accustomed to nothing but luxury all her life.
I am going to offer the creditors what I had laid
by, towards a composition, and I think I shall
i^ell my share of the business in Shanghai, and
buy a partnership in England, that is, if I can
BROWN AS A BERRY. 227
get anything wortli having, for every profession
seems overstocked. Then I should take a com-
fortable villa near the town where my business
was situated for the old lady, and the creditors
would, perhaps, come to terms. I would pay
so much a year, and clear off interest and prin-
cipal at the same time.'^
^' I would not sell the business in Shanghai,
Jack. It^s ten to one you get anything so good
" Well, there's sense in that, Luke. But it is for
the sake of my mother. She depends entirely
upon me, and does not want me to go abroad
again, as she thinks she will never see me again.
And of course it is on the cards she may not.
Anyway, I shall insure in her favour, so that if
I go first she will be all serene .''
" Your father never treated you kindly,
^' Oh, well, he's gone now."
" Dead or alive, that doesn't matter, he did not
treat you well. People should have more con-
sideration for those who come after them than
to leave everything in a muddle. He never
spent a penny more on you than he could
help. As for William, he lavished hundreds
'' William deserved that he should."
228 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" YoTi did not kno.w of this in Shanghai ?"
" No, I had not the vestige of an idea of it ; I
thought I was coming home, like the prodigal, to
a snug competency. As far as I can make out
there is a good deal of money invested in foreign
railway shares, and some in mining companies,
which last have gone to grief since I came
" It^s a bad look-out. Do you think you will
ever get clear T'
" "Ton my word, it^s impossible to say. "When
I have found out the extent of the liabilities I
shall be better able to judge. I think the
governor must have been taken in by the lawyers.
You never saw such accounts as they have sent
in, pages long. I shall go to Edinburgh next
month to see the solicitors. Carmylie is to be
advertised immediately for sale, and we shall
have to turn out next February.'^
" Disagreeable time of year to move, too.^-*
'' I do not see how it can be managed sooner.^^
'' This will keep you a poor man^ Jack. What
a pity it is^ and you were getting on so well !
If I could ''
" Thanks, old fellow. I know what you mean.
But I could not, and it would be of no use.
You^U hear of me turning up as a billiard-marker
at the other end of the world some of these
BROWN AS A BERRY. 229
days; or^ Luke, make me your coacliman. 1^11
close with you for a hundred per annum. Fve
often thought a gentleman^s coachman has a
good time of it/^
" Well, Jack, if it should come worse ''
"I shall know where to come to, shan^t I?
But I shan^t all the same. I never was the
chap to whom money took kindly. It was you
who were born with a silver spoon in your
mouth. Don't you remember in the old school-
days at the Blue Coat, that when we were both
tijDped, your sovereign always lasted till nearly
the end of the half, but mine had always been
spent when we had been about a month at
school, and I never could tell how it went for the
life of me V
" I say, .Tack,^-* says Mark, reflectively.
" Well V
" Have you no convenient old party belonging
to you whom you could persuade would be hap-
pier in a better sphere than this ?"
" And leave me all his or her tin V*
" We had one, and a lot of good it has done
us. But he was the only one of the species.
And if there was another, you may be sure he
would not die when wanted, but stick on like
old boots, just out of sheer perversity. Those
230 BROWN AS A BERRY.
old duffers never die, but live out those wlio are
waiting for their shoes. That field looks as if it
ought to be a good cover for partridges. I
should like to have a day's shooting here in the
RS. TERRIER, with Charity, Jack, and
Mrs. Napier^s children, Rosie and David^
are seated at lunch in the dining-room of Car-
Time has dealt very leniently with Alice
Ferrier, and her still luxuriant black hair is but
little streaked with grey. Never exactly beau-
tiful, she is not much faded or withered. She is
one of those women who, without possessing any
special brilliant or dazzling qualities of mind or
body, are almost as pleasing when advanced in
life as when in theii earliest youth. These
women always look nice and seem younger than
their real age. Their dresses invariably suit
them ; their skirts never fall down in the mud
when they think they have fastened them up
safely ; their dispositions are not angular nor
filled with '^ wills and wonts -" they do not take
desponding views of things in general; and
232 BROWN AS A BERRY.
surest and truest test of all, their relations love
them, and their husbands and children worship
them. Not particularly clever and with only a
fair share of good looks, Mrs. Ferrier had won all
hearts during her residence at Carmylie. Her
own sex called her '' Dear Mrs. Terrier/'' and the
opposite named her " Ferrier-'s pleasant wife.^'
To her the loss of husband and son at one
tremendous blow was an affliction so great that
it was weeks before she could bring herself to
mention the names of either again. Added to
this was the sudden and unexpected change from
opulence to the calculation of how far every
shilling could be made to go.
The dining-room at Carmylie is not a very
cheerful looking apartment, the walls being
painted a dull mud colour, and the arms of the
Campbells — who formerly owned the estate —
emblazoned over the mantelpiece is the one attempt
in the ornamental line.
The house itself is a grey, bleak building
situated at the top of precipitous cliffs over-
hanging the sea, here called the Bay of Car-
mylie. Behind lies a small valley and the
Glencairn mountains. Neither ivy nor creep-
ing plants of any description are trained over
the bare w^alls. Carmylie stands dreary and
solitary, straight and severe, giving a much
BROWN AS A BERRY. 283
greater sense of desolation than the wild, barren
hills which guard it on the one side,, or the long
lines of sterile cliffs, in a cleft of which is perched
the fishing village, which wall the coast, on the
Houses after a time show tokens of the
owner^s character, and Carmylie looks as if it
had a history. And so indeed it has. The
grim old place has changed hands often. In the
tunnel on w^hich its foundations are laid, many a
Jacobite has hidden when a price was set on his
head ; and a little later on, many a smuggler
has stolen up the secret staircase leading
from the kitchen region to the vast dark attics
that extend over the top storey, and hidden
there the casks of whisky above-proof, and bales
of French silks, and boxes of cigars, for which no
duty had been paid. Many are those who
have breathed their last, and been carried forth
through the shade-haunted corridors to the kirk-
yard down the brae at the fishing village beside
the sea, and many the happy brides who have
driven off from the narrow bolt upright door
amidst a shower of satin slippers and wedding-
cake. Like all Scotch country houses, it has its
ghosts, derived probably from floating local tra-
ditions of events which happened so long ago
that it is impossible to separate fact from fancy.
234 BROWN AS A BEKRY.
The windows of Carmylie are small and not
very numerous. At the time of erection the
modern ideas on the subject of ventilation were
still a hundred years in the future, and the
window-tax pressing heavily on the purses of
the lieges, our ancestors ruthlessly sacrificed the
advantages of I'ght and fresh air to economy. A
few straggling larches grow close to the house.
The gravel sweep up to the front door is ill kept
and covered with weeds, the lawn does not seem
to have been mown for months ; the only sign
of the place being inhabited is a row of bee-
hives among some flower-beds, which give evi-
dence of receiving more attention than the other
parts of the grounds. It is not an inviting house
to fix upon as a permanent dwelling. During
the summer months, as now, while the sun
shines and the weather is fine, the prospect of
passing some time there does not appear so
unendurable ; but one shudders to think of it
as a home on a dull day in November, when the
mist settles on the hill tops and lies curled in
the deep mountain gorges ; or on a cold, frosty
night when the wind whistles down from the
broad shoulder of the Witches Law, cutting like
a knife, moaning and sighing like a poor lost
spirit through the thin larch boughs to the sea,
over the great sand bar where so many good ships
BROWN AS A BEERY. 235
have struck and stranded, going to the bottom
with all hands and not a sonl left to tell the tale.
Then one would naturally wish for the bustle
and noise of a town^ with the gaslights, the
sounds of the cabs and carriages, and the tokens
of life and business and amusement, from all of
which Carmylie is as isolated as though built in
the middle of the Sahara.
Yet Carmylie is not without a certain wild,
stern beauty of its own. To be sure, it has no
smooth, smiling meadows, no purling streams of
which to boast ; but those who love the sweep of
a bold, rocky coast, the spread of brown moors,
the green mantle and aromatic spice of pine
woods, the golden bloom of whins and broom,
and the purple of heather, the wide expanse of
water, would find much in which to delight at
Carmylie. The air from the mountains is pure,
bracing and magnificently clear, and an artist
would be able to fill scores of canvasses with
the eifects of light and shade on glen, wood, and
sea, while the red-and-white fishing village, with
its natural pier of rocks, its winding street, its
kirk and kirk-yard, would in themselves furnish
subjects for many sketches. Ferrier has justly
described Carmylie when he said, that besides the
fisher-folks and the minister there is no society.
So it may readily be supposed that Charity
236 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Napier^ accustomed to tlie gaiety which attends
ail Indian station containing five regiments^ who
were among the fastest in the army^ should com-
plain of being buried alive.
The Carmylie estate was originally of large
extent^ but is now reduced to a few small
farmSj the house and grounds^ and some moors
for shooting. These are all that remain of the
former broad lands. For this the Campbells
themselves were partly to blame, and disastrous
^45, which ruined so many families in Scotland,
bringing her noblest and best to the block, had
also a great deal for which to answer. The
Campbells were an extravagant race and seemed
born with a fatal facility for spending money.
While gifted with beauty of person and amia-
bility of disposition, they were also endowed with
an awkward and uncomfortable habit of being-
unable to refuse acquiescence when events re-
quired a decided negative, or to deny themselves
anything which appeared to them desirable to
The immediate consequence of this want of
backbone or moral strength, Avas that Carmyhe
was put up for sale.
Luck undoubtedly runs in families and seems
to be attached to certain houses. In this respect
Carmylie appeared possessed by an avenging
BROWN AS A BERRY. 237
Greek fate. Mr. Ferrier had been a prosperous
raaiij content to live quietly on his small pro-
perty at Blackbeck House in Lincolnshire^ until
a relative died^ leaving him a large fortune^ on
which he purchased Carmylie, and from that
moment began going the pace which kills. This
pace^ however agreeable, cannot be long kept
up, and the rate at which Mr. Ferrier went was
so mad and furious that the only, wonder was he
did not go to smash sooner. But business men
knoAv that occasionally immense sums of money
may be made without money. Mr. Ferrier had
some knowledge of this method, and before in-
volving himself in the troubles and expenses of
lawyers^ mortgages, made sundry efforts to re-
deem himself by " flying paper."*^ Unfortu-
nately, he was unsuccessful. He never tried to
reduce his expenditure and kept up two establish-
ments all the year round, one at Melton Mow-
bray, and the other at Carmylie. There never
had been such gay times known in the county as
when Mr. Ferrier came down to Carmylie for the
shooting season. There was open house from the
12th of August until December 10th ; Champagne
flowed like water at never less than twelve
shillings a bottle, balls, dances, fetes, dinners.
Then, first one moor was parted with and then
another. The property was mortgaged to the
238 BROWN AS A BERRY.
last halfpenny of its value, and for several
years before his death Mr. Ferrier lived not
only up to his income, but very much beyond
The sudden illness and death of his eldest
son_, William, a promising young man, in whom
all his hopes were centred, was a great shock
to his system, from which he never rallied,
and he died, leaving his wife totally unprovided
for. His lawyers considered it a merciful
removal, as he was spared the pain of being
obliged to declare himself bankrupt, and at
his advanced age it would have been impossi-
ble for him to begin anew in any profession.
So Jack was summoned home from China
by Mrs. Ferrier. At that time she had no idea
to what an extent her husband's affairs were in-
volved, and it was not until Jack^s arrival at Car-
mylie that he was informed of his father's debts,
which to clear off will be the work of years.
The first step towards economizing had been
made as soon as Mrs. Ferrier^s lawyers acquainted
her with the state of things, and Mr. Ferrier^s
fine stud was sold by the instructions of the
solicitors, along with the house at Melton Mow-
bray, and the household at Carmylie reduced
to the lowest scale compatible with comfort and
ordinary respectability. Charity was well jff
BROWN AS A BERRY. 239
being liberally supplied with money by Captain
^^The governess comes to-day/' says Mrs.
Napier. " I don''t imagine she is very proficient
in her profession, but she will do until we leave
Carmylie, and I got her cheap. She is Mr.
" What is the damage, Charity ?" asks
" Not very deadly, twenty pounds a year.''
" As much as you pay your maid ! It is too
little. What is she to do ?"
" Undertake the entire charge of the chil-
dren and their wardrobes, as the advertisements
" Oh, poor little girl, you can't expect her
to manage with that. I'll give you a ten pound
note towards making it thirty." ,
" It is horrible to be so poor," pursues !Mrs.
Napier ; " Carmylie was so different in poor
dear papa's time," raising her lace-edged hand-
kerchief to her eyes. " There was plenty of
society and lots going on."
" AsCloughsays, *^How luckyit is to have money,
heigh ho ! How lucky it is to have money !'
The fellow who wrote the other day some non-
sense about virtue and rubies, had never known
what it is to be without sixpence in the world. '^
240 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" It is odd Miss Rutherfurd's people should
live at Marshley/^ says Mrs. Terrier. " What is
she like ?"
" Tall, scraggy, red nose, uncertain temper,
and of an awkward age. By-the-bye, mother,
what is an awkward age ? Jack, I have asked
the Lefroys and MacNabs to-day.''''
^' I wish you would not. Charity.^'
" It is not so expensive as a dinner to have
them to afternoon tea, and you can^t expect to
be asked out, unless you give something in
return. I asked the MacNabs on your ac-
" On my account ?"
" Yes, for you. We have plenty of blue blood,
and pedigrees and so on. W^hat we want is a
little hard cash in the family. You see I am
" Otherwise you would be willing to sacrifice
yourself for the good of the family. Then I am
glad your fate is sealed.^'
" But the MacNabs are nice lady- like
" And I fear they may remain so for me. If
matters are only going to get straight by marry-
ing some one with money, they will not be set
right by me. I shan^t present you with a
BROWN AS A BERRY. 241
" I am not sorry^ Jack ; they are generally
" There's Rattray with the letters/' announces
Rosie^ running to open the door.
"Weel^ laird_, we hae gotten gude weather at
last/' says a voice in broad Scotch^ belonging to
a short thickset man, with merry twinkling eyes,
grey hair, and cheeks ruddy like a ripe American
apple. He is Terrier's factotum for three days
during the week ; on the alternate three, he is
the walking post between Carmylie and the
post town of Queensmuir. " I hae broucht the
tabaky/' continues Rattray, tranquilly, " it's the
best tae be got in Queensmuir, but I'm some
doubting it's no extra gude, and I hae paid the
tailor, and here's the receipt, and gotten your
fishing-breeks wi' me, and Rosie's new bonnet,
and it's tae be houpit Mrs. Napier will be pleased
Whereupon Rattray delivers the pcstbag to
Ferrier, and a bandbox tied up in a red pocket-
handchief to Charity, but so far from leaving
the room on having fulfilled his duty, he re-
mains while Charity tries on Rosie's hat, to
judge of the effect.
Rosie is a pretty child with a fresh fair com-
plexion, blue eyes, and yellow hair, which she
wears cut over her forehead, in exactly the same
VOL. I. 16
242 BROWN AS A BEREY.
way as her xnother's. Her brother Davie is
another edition of herself, with shorter hair,
dressed in knickerbockers. The pair are twins,
of the age of eight or nine years, and as full of
mischief and impudence as two spoiled children
" Any news from Queensmuir, Rattray, or the
village ?'■' asks Ferrier_, who enjoys a talk with
" No just ony thing in parteeklar/' returns
Rattray, unwilling to commit himself so far as to
say there is any news, but on the other hand
anxious to keep up his reputation for hearing the
on dits of the burgh before any one else.
"There's an auld wife near killed wi' furious
driving by the lad Nicol^ the young doctor, ye
ken ; and I did hear that our minister, Mr.
Dods, is to tak^ a wife.'^
" Poor man ! I am sorry for him/' says
" Fat for ? Taking a wife ? Weel^ there is nae
dout but that whiles it is a sairious trial till a
man. But I'm thinking Miss Jean Cock burn
will not be to hae him. He has no eneuch
o' money. And ye ken women wad marry auld
Nick gin he wad keep them aye braw."
" And very right of them too,-" laughs
Ferrier. " Rosie, open the sideboard and you
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 243
will find some wliisky in a bottle ; pour out Rat-
tray a glass."
" Thank ye kindly," says Eattray, holding up
the " mountain dew" between himself and the
light with an appreciative glance. " And here's
your gude health, laird, and the mistress yonder,
and !Mrs. Napier, and Davie, and Rosie's. I
daursay it wadna be the waur o' a drappie
" You need not put in any water, Rattray,"
exclaims truthful Rosie, hastily, " for mamma
put in plenty yesterday, when Uncle Jack was at
" That's right, Rosie," returns Jack, " speak
the truth and shame old Scratch. Rattray, give
me your glass, and Til pour a little more whisky
" Has Cecilia been writing any more poetry,
Rattray ? What did you think of her last
piece ?" inquires Mrs. Terrier.
Rattray's eyes twinkle. He pauses before he
answers, and then makes response —
" Tae speak the truth and tell no lees, no
mucJcIe ava ! But I was up Bogg water yestreen,
and I catched four dizzen o' trout, and I can
tell ye I think vera muckJe o' them. Na, na.
It's no for women folks to write bits o' poetry.
That's no their business. Besides, women's
244 BROWN AS A BERRY.
poetry is nae better than a curren'' rubbishin'
" You are a very ungallant man ! If I were
Cecilia, I should be most indignant/'' laughs
*^ Ah V very prolonged, " Cecilia kens better
" What are you going to do with that
dreadful instrument of torture, Rattray V asks
Terrier. Rattray has an ancient blunderbuss in
his hand — a weapon of great age, deeply valued
and admired by him. Friends and acquaintances,
however, are apt to keep at a respectful distance
when they perceive him coming near with his
'^ Shoot the spuggies,"" he answers.
" I wont allow you to shoot the dear little
sparrows; they are my particular friends,''' says
^' Weel, Rosie, I am real sorry to hear you
say that," he calmly replies ; " I had nae notion
they could be friends o' yours, for they are just
the blaggairds o' the feathered creation. Did ye
think I sow paes and neeps for thae rapscallions
to tak' the heads off ? Tm gaein' oot the noo till
hae a shot at them."
^' I am cominoj too' says Davie.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 245
Rattray sprinkles treacherously handfuls of
oatmeal on the ground.
" Mind yersel noo/* he calls out_, " I am just
aboot till fire."
" Let me pull the trigger," shouts Davie. An
awful explosion is heard. One sparrow lies
prone and hors-de-combat on the earth. Rattray
picks it up, and caresses afiectionately the mass
of flufiy feathers.
Cecilia, the wife of his bosom, pops her head
out of the kitchen window, and shrieks loudly.
" Nae harm^s dune," says Rattray, con-
fidentially. " Sae ye needna skirl !"
" What a mercy the governess is coming,
Rosie and Davie are really quite unmanageable !"
exclaims Mrs. Napier. " They have been so
much with Rattray, that they have begun to speak
quite broad Scotch, and when children begin to
speak badly it is so difficult to break them
" They certainly seem to have been allowed to
run wild," remarks Jack.
" Oh yes ; but who could think of anything
with poor dear papa, and dear Willie, and my
own health too being so weak. I sometimes
think, Jack, that you do not feel their loss
246 BROWN AS A BERRY.
'^ I am as down in the montli about it as
anyone can be; but there is no use in letting
people see it/' he returns. " You would not
have me sit down and cry like a girl who has lost
her lover, instead of putting one's shoulder to
the wheel, Charity V
" I am sure Rattray is smoking in the kitchen.
I should not allow him to do that/' rejoins Mrs.
Napier. "It is for you to speak. You are the
" Oh, let him have his whiff!"
" Oh, well. I suppose you must do as you
like about it. And, Jack^ don't be out of the
way when the MacNabs come."
" You wont want me to play croquet ?"
"" No, not for your own pleasure ; but it
always makes girls better tempered when there
is an unmarried nice-looking eligible in the
'^ A nice eligible I am to be sure," says Fer-
" Well, and you were my pet brother. Jack.
Really that tobacco ! It is poisonous ! Do tell
Rattray at least to shut the kitchen door."
Rattray is sitting on the kitchen dresser with
his legs dangling like Mahomet's coffin, between
heaven and earth, and his fingers fumble rest-
lessly in his pockets; which symptomj by long
BROWN AS A BERRY. 247
experience^ his wife is aware means he is search-
ing for his pipe. In a few moments he fills the
room and passages with the perfumes of the
very vilest and stalest pigtail to be bought at
He hears the sound of approaching footsteps
and departs hastily, and when Ferrier appears
to reprimand him he has fled, and is slowly
sauntering through the walks in the vegetable
garden, pronouncing judgment on the peas and
reflecting whether he will '^ stick '^ the late row,
or make a new scarecrow to terrify the thieving
blackbirds, against whom he wages malignant
war, while Cecilia solemnly asseverates on being
called to account for her husband^s misde-
" As sure as daith, she disna ken wha Avas
smoking. It will just be the peat-reek, ^\y."
Ferrier shuts himself up in his study to look
over the factor's books, and write a letter to his
partner, Esme Lennox ; but has not long settled
himself when he is summoned by Rosie to play
croquet with the MacNabs and the Lillieshill
In other ^ays there was a flower garden
where the croquet lawn is now situated ; but the
beds have long since departed, leaving no traces of
their former gay denizens beyond a star of snow-
248 BROWN AS A BERRY.
drops which appears in spring regularly as the
new year comes round. A low moss-covered
wall runs between the green and the orchard, a
wilderness of a place with ground ivy and peri-
winkles growing in profusion over the earth
among the old fruit trees.
Thyrza feels a different creature since her
visit to Lillieshill_, more self-reliant, less nervous.
The lazy, easy country life has opened out a
wider world to her than that of the narrow cir-
cumscribed horizon of the Villios pension. A
very little makes her happy and bright — a very
little, a passing look, a changed tone of voice
is sufficient to render her sad ; a smile, a kind
word are so much to her. The knowledge of
being well and becomingly dressed, added to the
consciousness that she is about to become a real,
and independent worker, and to be of some use in
the world, gives her a sensation of importance
entirely new to her.
Her luggage has never turned up again, so
Miss Lefroy has bought her some inexpensive
summer dresses, and presented her with a black
silk, made with a square cut body for an evening,
and Tbyrza has expressly stipulated^to be allowed
to repay her when she receives her first quarterns
salary. She wears a dust coloured print, a knot
of scarlet ribbon at her throat, a black fichu.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 249
and a black hat of rather a coquettish shape,
which suits the brown face and its dark hair.
Terrier introduces Thyrza thus —
" Mother, this is mademoiselle/^
Mrs. Terrier does not shake hands coldly as
if greeting a stranger, but welcomes the girl with
a warm kiss, which renders Thyrza her devoted
admirer for life.
" These are your pupils. Miss E-utherfurd,^'
says Mrs. Napier, bringing the twins forward.
" My name is Mischief,^^ volunteers Rosie ;
" Uncle Jack gave me it because I let the pigs
out one day and chased them round the garden."
" And what is your name ? " she asks of
David, who is peering curiously at his future
" Come and shake hands directly with made-
moiselle," commands Terrier.
^^ I don^t want to see the new governess,"
protests Davie, sulkily.
'^ Oh, Monsieur David," cries Thyrza, pro-
nouncing the word with the a broad, as in the
" She's speaking Scotch ; how vulgar /" ex-
claims Rosie, laughing loudly.
'' Shut up, you little beggars !" storms Terrier,
with a frown.
Thyrza may be good for nothing. Most likely
250 BROWN AS A BERRY.
she is. She coufesses to a predilection for fast
things. She may combine all the most disagree-
able qualities of his detested and abhorred
fashionable woman, but as long as she is in his
house she is to be treated with respect.
" That is not the way to behave to made-
moiselle/' he continues.
Mrs. Napier observes Jack's interference in
Thyrza's behalf with displeasure. She hopes he
is not going to make an idiot of himself about
that girl. He ought to know better. Unless
he marries money he cannot marry at all.
Besides, she is such an exceedingly plain, wild
looking 'girl, and so dark, as black as a crow or
a gipsy. But men are great noodles and will
sometimes rave about people whom Charity can
see nothing in, either to like or admire. There
is Lola MacNab, with her fortune, ready to hand,
just as if specially created by Providence on pur-
pose for Jack. She does not believe what he
says with regard to disliking the idea of being
tied to any woman without the chance of chang-
ing his mind. Cecil Napier said the same thing,
and within two months of making the remark
was engaged to Charity.
" Will you have me as a partner, mademoi-
selle?'' goes on Terrier. "I don't pretend to know
much of the game, but I will do what I can."
BROWN AS A BERRY. 251
" Oh, that will never do, Jack/^ interrupts
Charity, hastily. ^' Two inexperienced players
should not be on the same side. Miss MacNab
and you will be a much better arrangement.-'^
" With the greatest pleasure/' answers Terrier,
readily. '^ A crack player such as I understand
Miss MacNab to be, will be a vast assistance to
mademoiselle and myself."
" The very first time I took a mallet in my
hand I went the round of the green without
stopping. I am a first rate hand at all games,
" I dare say, Mr. Lefroy ; beginners at billiards
often make better scores at first than piofes-
sionals, but it does not last. It is luck, not
skill, and, of course^ in the long run^ real play
" What are the sides to be ?" asks Mark,
swinging his mallet round and round, and then
hitting several balls one after another in a vague
" Eight is such a stupid game. There is time
to go for a constitutional between the turns,"
says Mrs. Napier.
"How would this do? Mr. Lefroy; you.
Charity ; Miss MacNab and Mr. Dods : then the
others, Mademoiselle, Miss Jane, Mark, and I.
Shall we toss up, Mark,, heads or tails ?"
252 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" Tails/^ rejoins Mark. " Tails always do
turn up, don^t they ?"
" I thought Miss MacNab was going to play
with you. Jack/'
'^ Oh, I am sure I apologize, Miss MacNab.
I merely thought you would find Mr. Lefroy a
better partner than myself.'^
^^ I am quite content with the other arrange-
ment, ''' says Lola, a little piqued at being thrown
over rather unceremoniously to the lot of the
" I vote we all play,'' remarks Mr. Dods, in
his solemn slow voice. " We can divide into
sets of four. I have seen two games played at
once on the same green ; the two sets starting
from opposite posts."
" So have I, Mr. Dods, but it was very tire-
some. One had continually to stop in the middle
of a shot to pick up a ball or wait until the other
set had played out a turn," objects Jane MacNab,
energetically. " We always met midway."
Finally it is settled to play a game of eight.
The minister begins operations.
In his long black coat and white choker he
looks grave enough to justify Lola MacNab's
assertion that he surely has lately been conduct-
ing a funeral service. He expresses himself in
a peculiarly leisurely voice, with pauses between
BROWN AS A BERRY. 253
each sentence. He is a person to whom, no
matter how free and easy he has been with you
on the previous evening, you always seem to
require a fresh introduction on your next
But Mr. Dods^ in spite of his ceremonious,
pompous manners, knows good wine when he
tastes it ; he is also a judge of a pretty girl, and
a general admirer of the sex. He is the best
relator of an anecdote in the neighbourhood,
telling the most absurd incidents without moving
a muscle of his countenance, while his auditors
are convulsed with laughter. After a few
glasses of port, or a stiff tumbler of toddy, when
fairly roused and set a-going, Mr. Dods is a
pleasant enough companion, more especially as
he does not intrude his religious opinions upon
those of a different communion, and whatever he
may 'preach, certainly does not practise sour
On account of these qualities, and having in
common with Mr. Lefroy an excellent opinion
of himself — after all, the world generally takes
one at one^s own estimate — '^ so long as thou
doest well unto thyself men will speak good of
thee'"' Mr. Dods has many friends, and whenever
there is a dinner-party on the topis within
twcDty miles of the manse of Carmylie, is in
254 BROWN AS A BERRY.
request for tlie '^ pleasure of his company/'
Besides_, Mr. Dods is not a married man^ and is
an object of considerable interest to various
maiden ladies in the vicinity^ none of whom
would have had any objection to reside at
Carmylie Manse^ which they understand is
already well stocked with linen and furniture,
having been Mr. Dods' father's before him, so
there could be little difficulty about settling
Unfortunately for the aspirations of the
spinsters,, Mr. Dods prefers wandering about the
country instead of " settling like a reasonable
man/' and attending to the duties of his parish ;
he generally starts the first thing on Monday
morning, and returns at the eleventh hour on
Saturday night ; indeed, on several occasions,
he has never put in an appearance at all on
the Sabbath at the kirk, the congregation wait-
ing patiently for him, and only going home
when the precentor announced it was useless
remaining longer, the minister doubtless having
missed the train, or met with some accident.
In anyone else this conduct would have been
visited with disapproval and a hint of the
Presbytery, but Mr. Dods is a privileged
man, and no one hauls him over the coals. His
lady friends hold steadfastly to their faith that
BROWN AS A BERRY. 255
if he were only married and had a wife to look
after him people would see the difference in his
behaviour then. Mr. Dods thinks so too, but
with a trifling alteration. In the summer he
usually has a number of visitors, chiefly ladies,
at the Manse, having a married lady to act as
chaperone. Dull in the Manse ! He is never
there long enough at a time to experience
Jane MacNab means playing the game, the
whole game, and nothing but the game. With
her it is not a pleasure to while away the
passing moment, but an absorbing business.
She flies from one end of the green to the
other ; routs out Mr. Lefroy whenever Lola and
he are trying to "spoon;" rushes up and down "to
give a line -" attacks players who are chattering
instead of taking a lively interest in the game,
and decides disputed points, such as if a ball
may be considered fairly through its hoop when
half way — and is indefatigable beyond all praise.
" No doubt, Mr. Mark, you will find a great
difierence between the society here and that in
Shanghai," observes Mr. Dods.
" No, I can^t say I do. We went out to dinner
there, or spent the evening at a friend^s house,
picked them and the grub to pieces afterwards,
and abused them well. Then met them next dav.
256 BROWN AS A BERRY.
and said how much we had enjoyed ourselves as
politely as possible^ just as we do here/''
" That does not speak well for society, Mr.
" But society cannot exist without an amount
of shams. How terrible it would be if every-
one spoke his mind and the exact truth. It
would end in everyone fighting and killing every-
body until none was left, after the fashion of
the celebrated Kilkenny cats. Imagine paying
a call, and being greeted with, ' My dear fellow,
I wish you far enough, but as you are here, &c.
he' IVe often said how delighted I was, and
so on, when I^^e internally been awfully bored.^^
" But is not that untruthful ?"
" Well, I suppose it is. It's a choice between
saying what you don't exactly mean, and hurting
a person's feelings. The fact is, politeness is
very often a test of self-denial. I think I
would sooner tell a white lie ''
" If there are white lies,'' says Terrier.
"Than wound a sensitive man who may, per-
haps, brood over your stray remark, and make
himself miserable for days. If one is to live and let
live, one must humour people's foibles a little.'"'
'* Even at the expense of truth ?"
^' I don't see why one could not combine
civility and truth," replies the minister.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 257
^' It^s a more difficult matter than you might
suppose. I show you a picture of my own
paintings Mr. Dods. You cannot^ in accordance
with your conscience, call it anything but fright-
fully ugly, but I shall be intensely mortified if
you do not admire it. Well \"
" Ah, we-el.^'
"Now, Mr. Dods.^'
" Excuse me, Mr. Lefroy," says Jane ]\IacNab,
"but I fancy I saw you move your ball into
" Ah, eh, oh V^ exclaims Mr. Lefroy, caught
in the very act of kicking his ball in front of his
hoop, " I thought it was my turn.-"
"We-el,^^ rejoins Mr. Dods, " I sincerely hope
I may never be so situated, Mr. Mark.^^
"You don^t call that an answer, do you,
Mr. Dods ?" laughs Mark.
" I don^t much like those very strictly truthful
people, Mr. Dods. I hope you are not shocked !
But they resemble a certain class of extremely
pious persons,^^ observes Charity, " who are always
treading on your toes and making disagreeable
remarks (generally true, too), without the least
consideration for your feelings.''^
" Oh, wad the power the giftie gie us,
To see ourselves as ithers see us,"
quotes Mr. Dods.
VOL. I. 17
258 BROWN AS A BERKY.
^^ Heaven forbid," says Ferrier, pausing to hit
the stick. " It would be a most objectionable
present. What is wanted is a process by which
our neighbours shall see us as we see ourselves.
Then the world would be as full of living perfec-
tion as, judging from the epitaphs on tombstones,
it is of departed saints.''''
'' Look at the enemy ; they are flourishing
like the green bay-tree of the wicked, but you
will see it wont last. It is your turn now,
Mr. Lefroy. This is your hoop. You go through ;
hit Miss MacNab ; croquet her down to me with
the following stroke, ' take two off ' from Jack,
and away to your next hoop, and then "
Mr. Lefroy prepares to make his stroke.
Mark goes down on his knees to see that his
mallet is all right.
^' A little further in ; no — to yourself. That's
it. You have changed it again. There, now
you must come through without fail.''
" They'll get it right sooner or later," remarks
Terrier to Thyrza.
" Just a thought more to yourself," counsels
Mark. Mr. Lefroy obediently moves the position
and is arranged according to Mark's ideas, when
the loud report of a gun is heard in the orchard
close by, followed by a louder exclamation. Mr.
Lefroy gives a start, hits his ball with the side
BROWN AS A BERRY. 259
of his mallet, and the result is an unmitigated
^' The mallet twisted/' says Mr. Lefroy, look-
ing rather foolish at this ending to all the elabo-
rate preparations, "and I really believe it is a
crooked one. I cannot play well with a crooked
'^ Any person killed ?" asks Terrier, looking
over the wall into the orchard ; " it is Rattray
with the blunderbuss, I am always afraid of
some accident happeaing with it.''
" Mr. Dods, do come up," implores Mrs.
Napier. This is exactly what the minister has
vainly attempted to do through the whole game,
so it is hardly to be expected he will succeed
Croquet has been rendered so extremely scien-
tific lately, that a good deal of the pleasure for-
merly attending this pleasant mode of spending
a few hours in the open air is departed. But
besides being scientific, it can also be made
a very irritating game. If spitefully inclined, a
skilful player can bully or worry his opposing
enemy to death while really remaining within
bounds, and in no way exceeding the rules and
regulations. As at other games, the old fable
of the hare and the tortoise is often verified at
croquet. The last is not seldom first. The
2C0 BROWN AS A BERRY.
gay free lance, who wanders over the green,
striking terror into the hearts of sober stayers at
their hoops is frequently left behind at the close,
while the slow coaches who have plodded from
ring to ring with patient perseverance win the
game easily, proving the truth of the adage,
" Slow and sure wins the race/''
Most people get a little hot over croquet.
Even the meekest of maidens, whom no one
suspects of possessing any temper at all, grave
church dignitaries, learned barristers and pro-
fessors, and worthy ministers like Mr. Dods^ will
dispute violently, and argue to the last gasp over
some trifling point of play. For it is not in
human nature to be taken from a delightful
position in front of your hoop, made use of in
helping your enemy through his rings, or in
waging war against your own side, and finally
be sent adrift, without experiencing a slight con-
viction it would aff'ord you a pleasing sensation
to do likewise to that ball which has put you to
the rout, and scattered you and your companions
to the four corners of the globe.
'' Tired, mademoiselle V^ asks Ferrier.
" No, monsieur.''-'
'^ Then what are you sighing for ? Because
you have the bad luck to be a girl ? Misfor-
tune to which you will have to submit, as it
BROWN AS A BERRY. 261
cannot be altered. You would never have done
for a man, unless you had got a new set of
dispositions, feelings, and character."
" Why not ?" says Thyrza, making a dashing
long shot from one stick to the other, and
hitting the minister's ball, which evokes from
him an astonished, '' We — el ! Miss Rutherfurd.'"
^^ Because — I will tell you afterwards. I know
you are going to make a mull of this stroke.
This is your last ring, is it not ? If you play
decently, the game is in your hands, and we
shall win in a canter.'^
" It is all up, Mrs. Napier, I am afraid,'"* re-
marks Mark. " Miss Thyrza has it all her own
way. They will go out this time."
" Lola, will you oblige me by moving, I think
there is a ball somewhere under your dress.
Where is yours, Mr. Lefroy, I don't see it any-
" Oh, Jane, I am admiring the view ; did you
ever see anything so sweet as the sea, and the
cliffs of St. Philip's to-day ?"
Jane searches in vain for Mr. Lefroy's ball,
and as it is in his coat-pocket in which he has
hidden it until required, there is no wonder her
labour is thrown away. Lola had not got much
out of Mr. Lefroy in the way of " spooniuess."
It takes a good deal of wine to get him up to
262 BROWN AS A BERRY.
the mark, and while saying anything and every-
thing, there is no fear of his committing him-
self. Short of an offer in plain words he is
perfectly safe. Soft looks, tender sentences ;
garnished with poetical quotations, connt as
nothing, and if she succeeds in leading Mr.
Lefroy to " sacrifice" at the altar of Hymen,
Lola will be a clever young woman. Thyrza
sends Mr. Dods away, places herself in a good
position, and having one stroke more tries the
hoop, but becoming nervous, or her hand trem-
bling at the critical moment, she blunders the
little easy stroke as people so often do after
executing something really difficult, and, striking
the wire, her ball rebounds to the wrong side,
without going through the ring.
" There ! I was sure you would spoil it. You
were in too great a hurry, and did not look to
see if you were hitting straight. You would not
have made me a good clerk in Shanghai."
" No ! But I should only have had to add up
accounts, and write things in a big book."
" That is clear and concise ! I should some-
times have wanted you to do other things be-
sides writing in a big book."
" Going out shooting ?"
" Not exactly. One time some of Mark^s
men and mine got into a row, and were put into
BROWN AS A BERRY. 263
prison, and he and I took a journey up country
to speak to the mandarin of the town, where
they were confined. We got separated, and I
wandered over so many miles over the hills at
night among the brushwood, a sort of prickly
bush which grows there in great abundance, it
tore my clothes to shreds, and scratched my face
and legs until they were one mass of wounds.
In this lively predicament, not knowing where I
was, and not having the most remote notion
how far distant the town was to which we were
going, I tumbled up against something soft.
There was a splendid moon shining, and by its
light I saw that it was the body of a man with
his throat cut in a horrible manner, nearly sever-
ing his head from his body. The Chinese, you
know, never bring any dead body they find lying
about, because if they did, the magistrates would
consider them implicated in the death. Now, if
you had been with me, you would have either
fainted on the spot, or else had a fit from terror
which would have rendered affairs more com-
plicated for me.^^
^' Monsieur is very *'
*' Come, Mr. Ferrier, I do wish you would
attend,^^ interrupts Jane. " It is too bad !
Everyone goes off and talks in the intervals be-
tween their turns, and they never remember where
264 BROWN AS A BERRY.
tliey are going, or when they ought to
^^ Oh, Miss Jane, that is too severe ! I don^t
believe you ever hit the stick,^^ says Mr. Lefroy,
who has cheated shamefully, and only been
through about half the hoops, so it is rather
cool of him to complain of Jane MacNab. Jane,
really vexed and angry, bestows an indignant
look on her sister, upon whose ball she swoops
down, and forthwith croquets to the inmost
recess of a mazy hedge, whence it is rescued with
infinite difficulty and trouble.
" You should have two greens, Mr. Ferrier,^^
she remarks, resting on her mallet, and feeling
considerably better after having wreaked her
revenge on Lola, " one for people who do like
to play, and another for those who merely mean
to flirt and cheat. ^^
^^ I am sure. Miss Jane," says the minister,
deprecatingly, ^^ I have been honourable, although
once or twice sorely tempted, throughout."
" It was not you I meant," looking across at
He has deserted Lola and is paying attention
to Mrs. Napier. In her half-mourning white
dress and black sash, the former tucked up just
enough to show her small feet in high-heeled
shoes with diamond buckles, made after the
BROWN AS A BERRY. 265
fashion of the last century_, she is a very
agreeable figure for contemplation. Lola^ even
-with her Parisian dresses, cannot attain the quiet
elegance of Mrs. Napier, which is distracting
alike to man and womankind.
'' Mademoiselle, you are very pale, sit
down. The seat is more comfortable than it
looks. It is here I smoke my after-breakfast
pipe ; but I generally bring a rug with
" Miss Jane, did you read the account in the
Scotsman yesterday of the golf match at S.
Philip's ?' asks Mr. Dods.
" Excuse me, I never talk at croquet," she
returns, giving him the snub direct. '^ I like
doing one thing well at a time, and prefer to
watch the play.'^
" Monsieur was lost on the Chinese hills,"
says Thyrza. " Will you not finish ?"
" Well, I went on, and when daylight came
found myself not very far from the town
Chip-Cho-Hoang-Ho, where the mandarin lived.
Wasn't I glad, that's all, to see some human
beings again? But I was such a spectacle what
with mud and scratches, and not to mention the
most part of my trousers being torn and de-
stroyed, that some kind person spread a report
1 was a magician, and the entire population set
266 BROWN AS A BERRY.
on me witli sticks and stones^ and I had to bolt
for my life/'
" Did you run V inquires Thyrza^ much
" Rather ! I showed them a clean pair of
heels ; for of course I was far out-matched and
the odds were tremendous. I tore along to the
mandarin's house, contriving to keep ahead of
my pursuers. They were much fresher than I
was, having had the advantage of their night's
rest, while I had been on foot for hours. But
the training I had had as a lad at '' Hare and
hounds" and " Paper chases" when at school
served me now, and I dashed breathless into
the hall of the mandarin's house. I was so
winded I could not speak or perform the cus-
tomary civilities, about which they are very par-
ticular. Luckily, Mark was there, and the
presence of the mob, with my ragged, bleeding
figure — I had got one or two nasty cuts from
some stones the natives shied at me — sufficiently
explained how things stood."
"I wish I had seen you."
" I was hardly presentable for a lady's eyes,
so it is fortunate you did not. The mandarin
had the good sense to listen to reason ; he gave
me a bath, and we procured some more decent
clothing, and then we discussed the trade dis-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 267
pute. Our men were liberated; but the popu-
lace were so furious tbat the mandarin was
obliged to grant us a guard of soldiers, between
whom we marched out of Chip-Cho-Hoang-Ho,
very glad to shake the dust of that city off our
feet, and escorted into the country by the yells
and execrations of the people/^
" What did they say ?"
" Oh, little simple things such as ^ Kill the
English devils V ' Slash them to bits/ and other
cries of that kind. As they spoke Chinese, I
understood all they said, and I could scarcely
refrain from firing at them ; but I knew if I did
nothing would prevent them from falling on us
and tearing us to pieces ; and then our country-
men would have to put up a memorial to our
memory, rejoicing that our loss had left an
opening in the trade. It was no joke to keep
cool when mud and missiles of divers sorts were
whistling round our heads, and the men jeering
and mocking and cursing us.^^
" It must have been splendid fun, and so
exciting V^ says Thyrza.
" I canH say I quite saw where the fun lay at
the time,^' returns Terrier, with a grim smile.
" And you are welcome to that kind of excite-
ment where I am concerned."
" Can you speak Chinese ?"
268 BROWN AS A BERRY.
"Yes. It is next to impossible to get
on with the natives unless you can acquire the
" Is it awfully difficult V' asks Thyrza.
" It^s not easy ; worse than Greek ; and you
can''t depend on interpreters — often frightful
" I wish now I had thought of going into
business/^ says Mr. Dods j " the ministerial is
not a money-making profession^ and I think
before long we ministers will have to strike,
like the masons and mill-workers.^^
" China is not what it once was, and it is
quite a mistake to think one has only to go out
there and money comes of itself. A whole
batch of poor young fellows threw up their
appointments as clerks in London and came out
to Shanghai/' observes Mark. " They were
nearly starved, and we had to get up a sub-
scription for them to pay their passage home again.
The fact is, that one requires interest and capital
out at Shanghai as well as in England.^'
" Is the climate good V
" Not very ; lots of yellow fever, and seven or
eight out of every ten who take it on their
arrival die. You would require to go out about
twenty, or thereabouts, in order to get used to
BEOWN AS A BERRY. 269
it. It is a good thing to get into tlie Chinese
customs, if you can speak the language.
Begin with a house at 50/. per month, which
increases if you give satisfaction. In that case
you can make plenty of money, and can
trade on your own hook. If I was going to
begin again I think I should try the Island of
" Had I known what I do now, it would
have been the very thing,^^ answers Mr. Dods.
'^ What do you think of the burgh of Queens-
" In much about the same condition as
Shanghai was when I first knew it, as regards
the streets. It has improved immensely of late
years. I suppose you never heard the joke
about Terrier when he first arrived there. He
had letters of introduction to the heads of a firm,
and they, hearing of his landing, invited him to
dine with them. So, after looking about the
town a little he took up his abode in an hotel
and donned his very best evening dress clothes.
Of course he was anxious to cut a dash and
make a good impression upon the gentlemen.
So then he set off. It grows dark very sud-
denly in China, and the streets of Shanghai
were neither paved nor lighted, and were very
270 BROWN AS A BERRY.
like a sea of mud^ with lakes of water here
and there. A considerable gale was blowing,
and somehow or another Ferrier tripped up, lost
his balance, and fell headlong, all his length
in the slush.^^
" What did he say V asks Mr. Dods.
" Something much too hot and strong to be
repeated in your presence,^^ says Ferrier, answer-
ing for himself. " I was in a holy frame of
mind, more easily imagined than described, as
novelists say when they come to an awkward
bit. I have often noticed that, after remarking,
' it is impossible to describe this scene,' they
never fail to have a shy at it."*^
" And did you go to dinner ?"
'•' Hardly. I went back to the hotel and sent
an excuse to the people. ^^
" Do you know Jack once made a plum-
pudding ? It was one Christmas, in Shanghai,
Mrs. Napier. It was a great big one, for
fifty people, and was boiled in a cauldron.
Jack had two fellows with long poles to stir it
^^ What, was it not boiled in a bag V ex-
claims Jane MacNab.
" Oh yes, it must have been, but still I re-
collect its being stirred round, and one of the
BROWN AS A BERRY. 271
men complaining of being too hot, Jack emptied
a bucket of cold water over bis bead."
" It is very scrubby of you^ Mark^ to tell tales
out of school," remonstrates Jack_, amid tbe
" John Chinaman would rather run a dozen
miles than meet Jack when he was in one of his
impulsive moods. He does not call it being in
a temper, or a rage^ or a passion,, but merely
being a little impulsive '^
" That is worth remembering," says Mr. Dods ;
'^the next time I am reproached with scolding
the congregation for bad attendance at the
kirk, I shall say I am only following my im-
" Now, Miss Thyrza," calls Mark, ^' I believe
it is left to you to give the coup de grace and
end our miseries."
Thyrza steps forward, and the balls being
placed near the winning-post, puts them out one
The victorious side wave their mallets over
their heads in triumph.
" Well, Miss Jane, you deserved to win, for
I think I only went through about six hoops,"
owns Mr. Lefroy, frankly.
^' You did not require to tell me," returns
272 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Jane^ appeased by having won, " for I saw very
well what was going on/^
" Will you have your revenge ?" asks Ferrier.
" I daresay you will play the second game better
and will be more used to the ground and the
T is a wet day, in fact, a very wet day.
Wet days may be divided into two kinds,
those whicli make a feeble attempt at intervals
to clear up and often delude a pleasure party
into the mistaken belief that if they wait a little
longer it will soon be fine ; but this desirable
event does not happen, the sun remains behind
the cloud which perhaps has a " silver lining ^'
somewhere and the rain keeps on a gentle drizzle,
all the more irritating because it is just too
heavy to go out in, and has besides saturated the
grass and woods with wet. Then in opposition
to the undecided rainy day is the decided wet
day. This is more agreeable to deal with. One
knows what to do and what to expect; one is
not beguiled with delusive hopes of getting out ;
and accepting fate quietly, one settles down to
one^s work or letters with peacefulness. This is
unmistakeably a decided wet day. There is no
VOL. I. 18
274 BROWN AS A BERRY.
doubt about the way in which the rain pours
down from the grey eaves^ and trickles along the
waterspouts. The weather has made up its
mind to be wet_, and wet it is. The wind howls
mournfully round the house^ and mixes with the
racket of the waves on the rocks below as treble
and bass mingle together in a duet.
Few visitors trouble Carmylie, even in fine
weather; so on a day like this^ of drenching
rain^ there is little chance of being disturbed by
morning callers. Terrier is in his study smok-
ing a pipe and pondering over his father's
debtS; and a meeting he must shortly hold in
Edinburgh with some of the Scotch creditors
and his lawyers. His attitude is more easy
than elegant,, his feet resting on the top bar of
the grate, in which burn pieces of peat and fir-
wood, and his hands are crossed over his shoul-
ders behind his neck. Dinner is in course of
preparation in the kitchen. Cecilia is head
cook besides being housekeeper, and some of her
efforts would startle Mr. Lefroy. Her know-
ledge consists of how to make broth and boil
beef, and she can also fry trout. That a little
variation in the menu is desirable, never once
occurs to her. On Jack's arrival from China,
he had dismissed the cook and two housemaids,
finding from a cursory glance at his father^s
BKOWN AS A BERRY. 275
papers that he could not afiford to keep more
servants than Rattray and Cecilia. Conse-
quently^ the household is rather primitive. The
meals are served within half an hour or so
of the time fixed, and it is Ceoilia^s opinion
Mrs. Ferrier ought to be thankful to see dinner
at all, instead of complaining that the roast hare
is so peculiarly skewered it looks as if it were
going to leap off the dish ; or grumbling about
the tea having been boiled before the fire until
it is bitter as senna. Mrs. Napier^s own maid,
a supercilious woman — a bad imitation of her
mistress in style and dress — is a thorn in the
flesh to Cecilia.
Mrs. Ferrier has not been accustomed to
housekeeping. Until latterly, she has always
had a housekeeper. But, feeling for Jack, she
has read up cookery books, and now ventures
rather timidly into the kitchen to heg Cecilia to
take pains with the stew.
Cecilia is not fond of being intruded upon in
her own particular domain, " leddies should bide
in their ain place, and she wad bide in hers.^^
And after replying not very brightly, Mrs. Fer-
rier goes back to her sitting-room.
Rattray is making a " potato bogle," Anglice,
scarecrow, the day being too wet for him to do
any outdoor work. He has got an old sack, an
276 BROWN AS A BERRY.
ancient hat_, a ragged coat^ and a quantity of
sawdust, with which to stuff the figure.
Cecilia careers from pan to pan, lifting off
lids and putting them on again, while Rattray
whistles his favourite tune, ^^ Charlie over the
Water/'' and stitches the sack together with a
darning needle and some twine. He devises
arms rather ingeniously by means of a piece of
wood, and tying a string round the neck of the
sack manufactures a round bullet-shaped knob
intended for a head.
" Gae wa^ oot o^ that, Maister Davie V ex-
claims Cecilia, '' Fll no hae ye routing amang
my pans. Fat^s that ye hae drappit into the
watter butt at the door ? Gae wa^ wi^ ye.''^
'' Would it not be jolly to paint eyes, nose,
and mouth, on the bogle ?" says Davie, paying
no heed to Cecilia, and abstracting a hot potato
from one of the aforesaid pans, so hot that he
dances in a sort of pantomime over the brick
floor while peeling it.
'' Fine,'''' returns Kattray. " But how would
you pent them T'
" Youll see," answers Davie, making a grab
at Cecilia*s cap in running out of the kitchen,
and presently he comes back with a large cameFs-
hair paint brush, and a small bottle containing a
BROWN AS A BERRY. 277
'' That's no pent."
" Oh,, isn't it ? Just look how splendidly it
takes it on."
" I dinna believe it's pent" persists Rattray,
as Davie with a few touches of his brush pro-
duces a pair of goggle eyes, a nose a good deal
to the one side, and a mouth literally from ear
" Will you let me paint your face, then ?"
asks Davie. " You can easily wash it off, you
'^ It's ower thin-like stuff for pent."
Davie does not wait for further permission,
but dipping the brush into the dark fluid in the
little bottle proceeds to paint whiskers on each
side of Rattray's weatherbeaten cheeks among
the stubble he carefully shaves off every Sunday
" It has an awfu'-like stink" says Rattray,
" will it be ink ?"
" It's black paint, Rattray."
" I'm for nane upon my nose. It's a trick
ye're up to, Davie."
'' Oh, Rattray, just a little on the tip of your
" I'm for nane o' your impidence ! Ye are
no kenning fat tae mak' o' yersel the day."
Davie throws the bottle away, and taking up
278 BROWN AS A BERRY.
the coat stuffs the arms of the scarecrow into it.
He is in the act of tjing the hat on its head,
when an exclamation from Rattray causes him to
fly rapidly out at the kitchen door as if for his
life, with Rattray at his heels.
^' It^s awfu' thochtless o' Henry tae leave the
door that gait/' says Cecilia, plaintively. " He'll
hae the chimney on fire. Whiles there's nae
comprehending thae men. Maybe he's gotten
a flea in his ear."
" David, where is the key of mademoiselle's
room ?" calls Terrier.
" He's awa' oot this blessed meenit, laird,"
" Oh, laird, that laddie is needing his wheeps.
He's gien me something that's taen the skin ofi"
" Where is the key of mademoiselle's room ?"
repeats Terrier, sternly.
A voice replies " far up " the house from the
top of a waterspout to which the culprit has
scrambled with the agility of a squirrel, ^^ water-
" Then, Rattray, you must fetch a ladder from
the steading. Mademoiselle is locked in her
room, and Davie has dropped the key in the
butt. I have tried the keys of the other rooms
and they won't fit the lock."
BROWN AS A BERRY. 279
" Is he no tae get his wheeps, laird ?"
" Yes^ if you can catch him," answers Ferrier,
laughing at Rattray^ s indignation and the
grimaces into which Davie, clinging on to the
spout, is twisting his fair face.
While Rattray has gone for the ladder, Ter-
rier throws sundry tiny pebbles up to Thyrza's
'' It will be all right directly," he says.
*' Tres bien, monsieur," rejoin treble accents
'' Hold the ladder steady, Rattray. Is this
the longest you could find ?"
" Aweel, it is."
'^ What are those streaks you have on each
cheek ?" he asks, ascending the ladder.
" I dinna ken, but they burn terrible. Davie
pented the potato bogle first, and syne he's tae
pent my face. He wanted tae pit some o' that
black stufi" on my nose, and it's a maircy I'd
mair sense nor let him. I suspectit it was no
vera richt when he mentioned the nose. I've
wash'd them but they're nae better."
" I believe it's caustic, Rattray. It was
lucky you were not such a soft as to let him do
the whole of your face."
" Bide a wee till I catch ye, Maister David,"
shouts Rattray, holding the ladder with one hand
280 BROWN AS A BERRY.
and shaking his closed fist in the direction of
]\Iaster Bavie^ although in rather a precarious
situation.,, liberates one finger to place it in close
proximity with a feature in his face which nature
has not thought fit to render very prominent :
indeed^ it is a decided snub. However^ snub
noses have one decided advantage over those of
a more classic type ; they can be twisted from
one side of the visage to the other^ and are
a great aid in the art of grimace making,
Ferrier reaches Thyrza's window and looks in.
" This is the only resource left, mademoiselle,
unless you go up the chimney, as the door won^t
break open. Will it alarm you ? I thought it
would be easier if I came to guide you for the
first few steps.^''
" You had better not look down at the side of
the house if you can help it."*^
" I always feel giddy on a high place.^'
" And yet you ran along the parapet of Bogg
Bridge so carelessly. There was no sense in
doing that. Now you want pluck you have none.^^
Thyrza climbs on to the sill by the assistance
of a chair ; Ferrier gives her his hand and holds
her by the waist until her feet are firmly planted
on the steps of the ladder.
BROWN AS A BEURY. 281
'^ Now_, do begin to move. It may be a
romantic position tbis particularly dry day^ but
I don't relisb it mucb/^ He is afraid for her up
at sucb a great beigbt^ and has an uneasy recol-
lection of noticing, as he ascended, that the
ladder is rotten, or not very secure about the
middle. But he dare not say anything for fear
of rendering her more nervous.
" The losh keeps/' exclaimed Rattray from
below. ^'^Are you and the laird tae bide a' day
at the tap yonder T'
" I must let go, mademoiselle,^' pursues
" Oh, don't, monsieur."
" We shall never get down if I don't. Keep
hold with both hands, and come cautiously,
mademoiselle, thee's nowt but a gawpin, as they
used to say at Marshley. What a fine view
there is from here ! There are splendid breakers
on at the sand-bar. I could get a capital shot
at that seagull if I had a gun."
Ferrier removes his hand from Thyrza's waist
and goes down several steps, leaving her to come
as she can.
" Courage, mademoiselle ; if you fall you fall
on me, and we shall both go together." Left to
herself, Thyrza puts one foot and then the other
down^ and so arrives towards the bottom of the
282 BROWN AS A BERRY.
ladder, when it breaks in two and slie only saves
herself by springing to the ground.
^' It is fortunate that did not happen before,
or you and I should have damaged our necks
a little I fear/^ says Jack, in his most frigid
voice. " How came Davie to play such a trick
as to lock you in ? You are too young to have
the care of such romping children."
" I don^t know," answers Thyrza, recovered
from her fright. " I went to make myself tidy,
and when I wanted to get out the door was
locked, and I screamed, and monsieur came and
tried to break into the room, and he could not,
and the keys did not fit, and voila tout."
" Tidy !" rejoins Terrier, with a queer look
at Thyrza^s hair, which comme ordinaire is in
admired disorder, and the pin of her bow in the
front of her gown has vanished, leaving it
dangling ready to fall. ^' Next to a sensible
woman I like to see a tidy one. Neatness is
the sign of a well-balanced mind."
^' I was under the impression I was very neat
indeed," she returns, as they halt in the porch
for a moment.
^' Then T don^t know what you can call untidy!"
" Kh, if you had seen me sometimes at the
pension you would perceive one great improve-
BROWN AS A BERRY. 283
^^Well, I did not, and I am afraid I have
lost something very valuable by not being there.
May I venture to inquire how many hundred
years you propose staying in this porch in a
thorough draught V^
Meanwhile Rattray has picked up the broken
ladder, and propping the longest end against the
side of the house has scrambled up as far as he
can go with safety. Davie crawls along the
waterspout and stops short near Rattray. He
is well aware nothing will be done to him. He
has only to lie on his back and roar lustily to
make both Mrs. Terrier and Charity nearly go
into hysterics. If old Mr. Terrier had been
alive Davie would not have ventured on such
pranks, but even he had softened down a good
deal before his death, and the mischief which
would have been visited with condign punish-
ment in his own sons merely drew a smile upon
the grandchildren. As vexing or distressing Mrs.
Terrier in any way is the last thing Jack would
do, Davie gets off scot free, although he considers
he would be much benefited by an occasional
thrashing. Davie approaches nearer Rattray.
The old man shakes his fist at him, and Da\ne
adroitly slips on to a window-sill and seizes the
" Ye thrawn wratch V cries Rattray, angrily.
284 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" bide till I^m on the groond again and Fll gie
" Will you really T' says Davie^ shaking the
'' Oh-, maircyj maircy \" exclaims Kattray.
" Will you promise not to say anything about
'' Na^ I'll promise naething."
" Then I'll shake the ladder until you fall/'
pursues Davie, knowing he has the best of it_, and
thoroughly enjoying Rattray's terror.
" Oh, oh ! I'll say naething mair, I winna,
Maister Davie, I winna."
" Will you swear you won't ?" demanded the
young rascal, giving the ladder a tremendous
" I'll sweer onythi7ig, onything ye like," pants
Rattray, breathless with fear, willing to swear to
whatever Davie wishes, and resolved to perjure
himself the instant he touches terra firma
" Then I'll let you down," slackening his grasp
of the ladder, on which it need hardly be said
Rattray scuttles off it sideways, like a crab in a
hurry, and ducks behind the water-butt. Davie,
occupied with an acrobatic performance of
sliding from the spout on to the ladder and
descending at the gallop, is received almost into
BROWN AS A BERRY. 285
the very arms of Rattray^ who has skulked out
from his hiding-place. Davie^ however, is slip-
pery as an eel, and three times as supple as
Rattray ; he twists himself from his embrace by
a somersault, regains his footing, and is in the
house and upstairs with Mrs. Ferrier before
Rattray has been able to rise from the wet
^^ Are you busy, mademoiselle V asks Ferrier,
entering the schoolroom some few minutes later.
^^ Not very, monsieur.^^
" Could you spare me a few minutes V
" Yes,''^ says Thyrza, rather wonderingly, " I
could, but I am not sure that I shall/''
<' Why not ? What have I done to incur
your displeasure ?"
" You told me I was very untidy .''
'^ So you were.^^
'' But I am neat now, am I not ?"
"Well/^ doubtfully, looking at the simple
print gown and blue bow at the throat, which
she has put on since coming out of her room by
the ladder, having found it in the schoolroom,
" it's better. But did you ever pin your collar
straight in your life V
'' Is it not straight ?"
" No ; a quarter of an inch too much to the
left. I have got a letter from my French agent
286 BROWN AS A BERRY.
which I can^t quite make out. The idioms are
so bothering and the fellow writes such an odd
hand_, otherwise I should not trouble you/'
" It will be no trouble. I suppose monsieur
desires that I should translate it into English
for him ?"
" Exactly so/'
'^ Shall I begin now ? Where is the letter ?''
^^ It is in my study. I think you will find it
easier to write a translation of it there^ especially
as there are a number of trade terms in it which
without me you would be unable to understand.
Will you come then ?''
Terrier's study is the morning-room which
belonged to the late Mr. Terrier. It is fitted up
with light oak and dark blue hangings powdered
with gold fleur-de-lisj with carpet and furniture
to match, of blue and oak. Pictures on the
walls of racehorses in almost every possible
attitude, reveal the taste uppermost in the mind
of the previous owner. On a writing-desk is an
inkstand composed of four horse-hoofs set in
silver, formerly appertaining to a favourite mare
of Mr. Ferrier's. Round the room are hung a
collection of antique pistols and guns and
fowling-pieces, and some magnificent trophies
of big game, sent home from India by Captain
Napier ; heads of tigers and elks and antelopes.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 287
and the striped skin that once covered the
treacherous;, cruel form of a huge man-eater
now serves the peaceful purpose of a comfortable
hearthrug. On a table strewn with papers, blue
envelopes, and ledgers, are several morocco-cases
of jewels belonging to Mrs. Ferrier. They are
to be sold by her own wish, and contain trinkets
of great value.
'' There is a seat, mademoiselle," says Ferrier,
dragging out a large arm-chair for her. Thyrza
sits down and translates the small, elaborate
writing of the Frenchman into English.
" Koonfongs ?" she asks, inquiringly. '' And
No. 1 and No. 2 tsatlee koonfongs, Hs ?"
" Oh, merely trade terms. Stick to the point
in question. What is it the man wants to say
about seeing me in the autumn. Does he want
me to go, or does he not ?"
" I have not finished yet, but I shall in
another moment. Shall I write it out for you,
or read it aloud ?"
'^ Write it out, please, and then I shall not
She copies out the translation and hands it to
Ferrier. After he has read it through, he ap-
parently waits for her to abandon her seat and
leave the room.
" Can I help monsieur T' she says, when
288 BROWN AS A BERRY.
Ferrier has been so good as to remark lie con-
siders the translation '^ not bad/"*
^' You have already done so. I think there is
nothing more in the way of further assistance
that you can do. You cannot add up the
accounts ; I suspect your arithmetic is of an
Irish nature — Twice five is six ; the nines in
four you canH, so dot three and carry one^ and
let the rest walk V
" Oh no/^ returns Thyrza_, earnestly, " indeed
it is not. And I do want to let you see that I
am not silly and foolish .^^
" If you imagine I think you are so, you
must know my thoughts better than I know them
" But you said I was silly. ^''
" You are not more foolish than most girls,
and a great deal wiser than some/^ he rejoins, a
little impatiently, " but you must not mind what
/ say. I don^t know much about girls. During
the past few years, as I have already told you, I
have seen precious few specimens, and I must
own what I have seen did not make me wish
to see any more,^"* laying down his pen, and
strangling a violent yawn that is trying hard to
get into existence.
'^ I do mind what you say. I can^t bear for
BROWN AS A BERRY. 289
you to think me a simpering nothing. I want
you to believe I am not stupid/'
" I don't say you are a simpering young
woman. Far from it.''
This comes of being out of the ordinary run.
No good ever results from that. Well, she is
no relation of his, so it does not signify.
" But I can't believe you are wise when you
are not,^^ he goes on very distinctly, *^^no young
persons are. When you are older and have
seen the world you will have acquired knowledge,
and have learnt how to use the common sense
with which nature has provided you "
" I wish I was old," she bursts forth, impe-
" Time will soon cure that fault. What is
the matter ?"
" Oh, nothing," she says, abruptly, turning
" Well, then ; I will swear you are wiser than
" No, don^ty I had much rather you said what
you thought. I should hate for you to say un-
truths only to please me, as if I were a baby J'
" Hate ! is not that rather strong language
considering the occasion ? There is no pleasing
you. If I say what I think, you are — impul-
VOL. I. 19
290 BROWN AS A BEKRY.
sive ; if I flatter you^ it is worse. What shall
I do T'
" I don^t want to be flattered or compli-
mented; if monsieur would let me assist him/^
she rejoins, persuasively, ^' I used to copy out
Mr. Spindler's musical compositions for him,
and I never made any mistakes. Besides, there
is no fear of '' pausing.
" Of what ? Go on, mademoiselle.^'
" There is no fear of you falling in love with
me,'"* says she quietly, without an atom of co-
quettishness in her manner.
" Speak for yourself,^' returns Terrier, gravely,
" how do you know that T'
^' Because you told me so.'"'
" Do you believe everything you are told ?
You ought to believe nothing of what you hear,
and only a quarter of what you see. What^s
the use of my thinking well of you ? It won't
do you any good, or make you a bit the happier,
or put any money into your pocket."
" Monsieur is so clever ; his opinion is worth
" I am afraid I am only a poor devil at the
best, a man of no account," and Terrier gives
a little sigh ; " it is really very amiable of you
to wish to help me, but I scarcely think you
understand what you want to undertake. Shall
BROWN AS A BERRY. 291
I instal you in office as my clerk ? * Yes/ you
answer^ but I shall perhaps be cross and scold ;
then the tide will come in and you will cry."
" Oh no/"* she replied, with a bright smile,
" I never cry. I am sure I should not.^'
'^'Well, I will tell you what I am about.
You may have heard that I am rich, but in
fact I am poor as a church mouse. These books
here are the lawyers^ accounts which I am look-
ing over. Now, you don't know the difference
between single and double entry."
" Well, it is a fact I do not, but I can
learn,'' says she with another smile, which makes
Terrier inwardly determine he will not invite
this new kind of clerk to return to his study,
otherwise the play will end in a word of four
letters — Love.
"You would learn Chinese as quickly,'^ he
answered, gruffly ; " however, I will give you a
trial. First of all, seven times eight V'
"Are you certain?"
" Sans doute, monsieur."'
" Nine times nine V
" Once one ?"
Ferrier shakes his head.
292 BROWN AS A BERRY.
'' Ahj wliat stupid I am ! One of course."
^^ So far, so good. Please give me your un-
divided attention. There are the leases of the
grass parks — Scotch term that for meadows —
at Carmylie for the last eight years,, add up
the sum total, and as you wish to be useful,
will you sew a button on this wristband for
me? Needle and thread are just at hand in
Charity ^s workbox.''''
Whether nervous or not cannot precisely be
said, but Thyrza bungles in threading her needle,
and only after an attempt of about a minute,
does she discover that the reason of her non-
success lies in the eye being filled up. Even
then, she does not thread it with her usual
quickness. However, this being finished, she
turns to Terrier.
'^ As you are so kind, mademoiselle, this is
wnere the deficiency lies."
She bends down to stitch on the button, un-
conscious of the quickening of Terrier's pulse,
like electric wildfire, as her brown soft fingers
accidentally touch his strong muscular wrist, and
a tress of her flowing locks rests for an instant
on his dark bronzed cheek. She is so close to
him that he can almost hear her heart beating
rapidly under its thin print covering. Intent
'brown as a berry. 293
on her work^ slie does not notice the glance he
fixes npon her.
" It is not now properly sewn on. See what
a little thing is sufficient to break it off/' he
exclaims, treacherously wrenching it off, in
order to have the pleasure of Thyrza sewing it
on again. " Your education has evidently been
neglected. Before trying to be a clerk, you
should get up thoroughly the arts belonging to
your own sex. Seventeen years of age, and not
able to stitch on a button."
'^ It is monsieur's fault, and monsieur has no
manners,'' remonstrates Thyrza, threading her
needle once again, and beginning her task once
more in all innocence, " if monsieur would re-
main tranquil I could do it very well."
"Ah, you've pricked your finger ; poor little
'^ Don't pity me," says she, viciously.
" You should not undertake more than you
She gives a little stamp and snaps the thread.
" Sew it on yourself," she exclaims, and throw-
ing the needle into the fire, she moves towards
the door preparing to make her exit, when Jack
prevents her by standing with his back set against
"We should never have got on as master
294 BROWN AS A BERRY.
and clerk. Nature knew a long way tlie best
when she made you a woman, but that sensi-
tive disposition of yours so touchy '^
" I am not touchy/^
" I beg your pardon, you are touchy. That
disposition would have got you into dreadful
scrapes as a man. Why, you would have been
knocking down every second fellow you met,
because he happened to say something which
offended you. Look here, mademoiselle, I want
you to make friends with Charity. You will
learn from her those nice feminine ways which
are so taking.^"*
" I can^t endure nice feminine ways,^' protests
Thyrza, thoroughly provoked. ^' Why should
not a man and woman be able to be friends
without falling in love T'
" Not a very relevant question,^^ returns
Terrier, in an exasperatingly cool tone of voice,
still keeping his back firmly pressed against the
door. " Because any experiment of the kind I
ever heard of has been a failure. ^^
'' Monsieur, I wish to return to my school-
room ; please open the door."
" Pardon me, you have not fulfilled your part
of the bargain," says he ; "^ I believe you pro-
mised to help me about the grass leases."*'
" WeU V
BROWN AS A BERRY. 295
'^ I will explain it to you if you will attend.
There are so many fields — you will find the
number on referring to the papers — each con-
taining so many acres of land let at so much per
pole^ and varying in price as the land varies in
value. It is as easy as A B C.^'
But Thyrza is too much offended to be at once
consoled and appeased. Ferrier quits the door.
He comes to her. Her left hand — the forefinger
of which was wounded in his service — hangs
limply dowuj and on the said small forefinger
there is a little red stain.
" I never thought monsieur could have laughed
at me/' she answers^ in return to his expressions
of penitence, rubbing off the stain with her
" I am too old and stiff to go down on my
knees, mademoiselle, or I would do so and
apologize," he entreats.
Thyrza yields at his contrition and believes
that had he not been in truth too stiff, he would
have sued forgiveness from his bended knees, and
she takes up her position at the table.
Arithmetic, unfortunately, is her weak point.
She cannot add up or divide the smallest sum
mentally, and even if provided with pencil and
paper before her she still requires some length of
time for reflection. The famous ^' herring and
296 BROWN AS A BERRY.
a half*' has only been solved by her during the
past year,, and though clever enough in other
departments, she could never have gained a prize
in the mathematical line. I am afraid she would
have been plucked in an examination at Oxford
or Cambridge. Her imaginative powers are
much greater than her arithmetical abilities. One
reason for this may be that arithmetic, beyond
the four simple rules, has never been clearly ex-
plained to her. Now, she is excited, and without
pausing to think goes to work at once, sets down
the number of acres carefully and the price
which they fetched during one grazing season.
Ferrier has told her to ascertain the amount
which the lot will come to for each year sepa-
rately. This is because in some seasons the
fields realized more than at others. And then
having found the sum for each year to add the
produce of the eight years together. This, of
course, would give the sum total. But Thyrza,
in her haste to do it well and fast, forgets the
simple directions, and is presently involved in
calculations between cyphers and an odd process
of counting which would have made the hair
of any good arithmetician stand on end. Then
she cannot remember for her very existence how
many poles there are in an acre^ and she is too
proud to ask.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 297
Terrier,, meauwhile;, transcribes quickly into a
large book, and then answers a letter from -his
lawyer in Edinburgh. He writes a small, clear,
business-like hand. There is a good deal of
character in the decisive, steady letters, formed
without a tremor or falter. He reads over the
epistle before closing it for the purpose of dis-
covering whether any words have been left oat ;
then he seals the envelope with his crest. It is
also like the man that the seal is well done and
perfectly impressed — not an indistinct line in the
largely-engraved crest. When this is finished
he looks at Thyrza. She is struggling with the
sum, which being worked in the wrong way
shows an aggregate of several thousand pounds.
She bites her lips and wrinkles her blue-veined
forehead into deep frowns. She grows hot and
pushes her troublesome hair away from her
shoulders. As she is doing the sum with pen
and ink, she cannot rub out the working. One
or two sheets of paper she covers with figures
and blots, which are as fast destroyed. Terrier
rises and leans over the back of her chair to
examine the progress of the sum. She bows
down her head and stretches her hands over the
" Let me look,-*-* he says.
^' I shan't," she rejoins, raising her head and
298 BROVfN AS A BERRY.
doubling up the paper. Ferrier lays liis hand
on- it. She tears it into little bits ; but she is
not so quick about it that Terrier has not
contiived to catch a glimpse of the total
" Three thousand five hundred pounds for the
rent of about a dozen and a half of fields from
Whitsuntide to Martinmas. By Jove, I wish I
had you for a tenant. Matters would soon
square themselves at that rate. How many
poles are there in an acre V
" I — don't — know/' very slowly, and passing
an inky finger over her cheek, she leaves thereon
'' I think there are something like forty and a
quarter. Are you vexed, mademoiselle V
"No-o-o," doubtfully and prolonged.
" You forgot what I told you. By-the-bye,
you've inked your face."
'' Have I ?"
^' You want a looking-glass, I see. There is
not one in this room. You are only making it
worse. Stay, 1 daresay you can manage with
this," pulling out his watch and opening it where
it is wound up. " When I've been badly ofi"
I've often put my tie straight by its means."
Thyrza takes the watch and removes the
smudge, Ferrier contemplating her the while.
BROWN AS A BERRY. 299
" The most beautiful looking-glass I ever saw
is here just now/^ he says^ presently.
" Where^ monsieur ?" she inquires^ regarding
'' In your eyes/' he answered. " I seem a
different man when I look at myself in
" In my eyes, monsieur?"
" Yes, in your eyes. If you look into mine
you will see yourself reflected,, very small, it is
true, but quite perfect. Tell me what you see
"Well, it is a fact," she exclaims, joyfully; "I
do really see myself, monsieur."
" I see in your eyes the reflection of a man,
who might have been much better, and a respec-
table fellow, but who instead went all wrong,
and is now getting content to drift where fate
" Then you don't see yourself, monsieur. How
is it that I saw myself so well ?"
" There is a great difference between your eyes
" Is there ? But how ? And who is it you
" I can't explain the difference between our
eyes, so well as I can this sum about the grass
leases. Eighteen hundred and sixty-four seems to
300 BEOWN AS A BERRY.
have been a capital year for the parks. How many
are there ? Fifteen ; I suppose some land must
have been reclaimed from the heather, as after-
wards they increase to eighteen and nineteen/''
He sits down beside Thyrza, taking a fresh
sheet of paper_, and setting the sum in clear neat
figures, does it for her, explaining the reason of
each mode of working. After this, he destroys
it and makes Thyrza go through the whole her-
self, figure by figure, and refuses to assist her
when her memory failing her for a moment, she
forgets what she ought to do next. Then after
she has finished the whole triumphantly, and
copied it tidily into one of the large ledgers she
rises, crying delightedly —
" Now, monsieur, allow that I am of some use.^''
" I donH know how it strikes you, but it strikes
me that calculating the time, the waste of paper
and ink, &c., I might almost as well have done it
myself,'''' returns Terrier, drily.
Thyrza walks right out of the room, banging
the door after her, as an outlet to her feelings. It
is amazing how refreshing a little explosion
of the kind is when one is slightly agitated.
" Mademoiselle, mademoiselle,'''' shouts Fer-
rier, ^^ as we live under the same roof- tree, let us
be at peace. Will not you excuse my — impul-
siveness, and stitch on that shirt-button V
BROWN AS A BERRY. 301
'' That I never will/' returns Thyrza, hotly.
" And I'll never come back to your study, never,
and you may translate your letters as you can/'
"A regular little pepper-pot/' reflects Fer-
rier, returning to his peculiar sanctum, and
lighting a cigar, ^' she's quite right about keep-
ing out of this study. If she came often I
should be making a fool of myself. It's better
we should be at daggers drawn. Jove ! I was
very near giving her a kiss, and I believe I
should if I had not cut up deuced nasty that
minute. She'll think me a brute. Hang those
infernal debts, I shall never get rid of them all
my life. I wish Charity had engaged a woman
of an awkward age."
'' Please, sir ; the meenister has called tae
speir for ye," says Cecilia, sticking her head into
" Tell the minister I am not at home/' an-
swers Ferrier, promptly ; going to the open
window, from which he beholds Mr. Dods in his
Sunday-go-to-meeting broadcloth, waiting under
an umbrella on the gravel sweep.
The almost instantaneous result of this reply
is the following, delivered in Cecilia's squeakiest
" The laird is i' the hoose, but he's no at
302 BROWN AS A BERRY.
" In the house, but not at home ?'' repeated
the minister. " De-ar me \"
" I dinna ken nae mair/^ pursues Cecilia,
" that's a' the laird tellt me tae tell ye, and I
hae tellt ye exack/'
The minister retires down the brae to the fish-
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(of the Gaiety Theatre). In 3 handsome vols, demy 8vo, with
" For the last half-dozen years Mr. Hollingshead's name has been so generally
identified with the Gaiety Theatre, that the public have not had so many opportunities
as formerly of enjoying liis contributions to the periodical press as in the days when
his pen was among the most welcome of those which supplied the editorial desks of
Dickens, Thackeray, Dr. M'Leod, and other foremost men in the world of letters." —
Eound About the Islands ; or, Sunny Spots
near Home. By Clement W. Scott. 1 vol. 8vo. With Illustra-
trations by Mr. George du Mauriek. 12s.
" It is to be hoped that the perusal of these interesting papers will create in the
minds of British tourists the desire i o witness the lovely scenery to be found in various
parts of our own islands." — Court Journal.
A Summer in Spain. By Mrs. Eamsay, Author
of a Translation of Dante's " Divina Commedia." In the Metre
and Triple Khynie of the Original. 1 vol. 8vo, with Frontispiece
and Vignette. 15s.
"Her style is graceful and lively ; she has an artist's eye for effect, and shows good
gifts of descinption. She took a very genuine intei-est in all that she saw ; and dis-
criminating enthusiasm is sure to awaken sympathy." — Saturday Review.
Animal Magnetism (Mesmerism) and Artificial
Somnambulism ; being a Complete and Practical Treatise on that
Science, and its application to Medical Purposes ; followed by
observations on the aflSnity existing between Magnetism and
Spiritualism, Ancient and Modern. By the Countess C — DE St.
Dominique. 1 vol.
TINSLEY BEOTHERS, 8, CATHEKINE STEEET, STRAND.
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